"Where Are The Men?"

He’s one of those boys with a gentle, sweet smile / That makes you look twice / Here on the streets, you notice what’s nice / See, out here you get picked on if you’re not a little mean / So, he walks the line in between / Stepping from scene to scene / Just wanting to be seen / One day hopping fences with the gang / Another day dropping the game / Looking for respectable gain / But who does he have to show him how? / All these grown kids just sitting around / Having somehow missed the right of passage / From boyhood to manhood / Now lacking the tools to pass on what they should

Those who are reaching for more / Seem to be hidden behind closed doors / So that boy looks to the streets / For signs to guide his feet / And that’s how he ended up in the backseat / Of the police car I saw him in today / Having lost his way / And I ask myself who’s to blame / Or better yet, who will pay? / As his big brown eyes catch mine / Quickly ducking out of sight / Ashamed of his plight / I continue to stare / Wondering how he got there

Has life given him any other choice? / Has he heard any positive voice / Guiding him through all the noise? / Tears rise to my eyes / As these questions arise / And I wonder, where are the men / Who will help these boys who are broken? / Who will call them forth to vision? / Tapping into their mission / Holding out a hand / To help them stand / And then leap higher / To a future that’s brighter / Is there not one light in the dark
To keep that boy out of the police car? / I’m left with this question / Who will stand with these boys / Who are just trying to figure out / How to be men?

- Laurie Cook, IC Miami