Ms. Detroit

She’s been through everything—a depression, a recession and three riots that she never fully bounced back from.

But she lies there beautifully. Lies there beautifully in her ruins.

And I love her.

To live in her you have to be strong because she doesn’t raise you any other way.

She taught me at the age of one.

 At the age of one, she taught me how ruthless she can become.

My father sold poison in her streets, poison to her children and

then took the profits back to where he slept.

High off of his poison and high off of envy, Ms. Detroit sent a

few of her children to pay my father back. They took his poison, they took his profits and they took my mother away from me.

She’s been through everything—a depression, a recession and three riots that she never fully bounced back from.

But she lies there beautifully. Lies there beautifully in her ruins.

And I love her.

With my mother gone, I classified myself as a daddy’s little girl.

I never saw myself as Detroit’s little girl and for that—

she became jealous.

She made it clear that she was taking him away from me—very clear.

She made me witness a Detroit judge bang his gavel and yell “Take him away!”

She made me witness my father being handcuffed and taken away.

She made it clear that she was taking him away from me.

She made him die in one of her jail cells.

She’s been through everything—a depression, a recession and three riots that she never fully bounced back from.

But she lies there beautifully. Lies there beautifully in her ruins.

And I love her.

Stripped of my title as a daddy’s little girl, I moved from the Westside of Detroit to her Eastside. And I had to take it day by day. Lost.

I didn’t know who I was and I still didn’t classify myself as Detroit’s child.

I took it day by day and gradually I got better.

Gradually I came into my own and I still refused to admit that I belong to Detroit.

So she made it known.

She made it clear what she could do. She took a gun off the streets, placed it in my brother’s hands and placed him in front of me.

She placed a gun in my brother’s hands—because a young man feels like he has all the power in the world with a gun in his hands.

She made the gun go off.

She’s been through everything—a depression, a recession and three riots that she never fully bounced back from.

But she lies there beautifully. Lies there beautifully in her ruins.

And I love her.

I don’t know what made her spare me.

Maybe it was the fact that I never once asked for God to save me, to let me live.

Maybe, it was the fact that I accepted my situation and prepared for the worst outcome.

But, she instantly regretted it. She showed it by making city officials come and get me.

Got me they did.

She made sure they did a damn good job on saving me.

Seven days in Children’s Hospital and all I could concentrate on was getting better.

I wondered what Detroit was thinking.

I never got the chance to know. My auntie took me away from her.

She’s been through everything—a depression, a recession and three riots that she never fully bounced back from.

But she lies there beautifully. Lies there beautifully in her ruins.

And I love her.

I still visited Detroit even after I moved to the suburbs.

Those days I visited were always tense.

I always felt that Detroit was going to strike again to show me the things that she could do.

Looking back at it now, a verse from J. Cole comes to my mind:

Man don’t let the city get’cha/fuck the horoscopes know the ropes like a wrestler/

if the bullets wet’cha bet’cha mama need a tissue/

yo face in front of our shirts screamin we miss ya

 

It seemed like every time I visited her, my mind screamed out:

Giiiiirl don’t let the city get’cha!

It seemed to me that Detroit had a constant affair with the devil and

a couple of flings with some angels,

but the good ones seemed to always feel her wrath.

She’s been through everything—a depression, a recession and three riots that she never fully bounced back from.

But she lies there beautifully. Lies there beautifully in her ruins.

And I love her.

Despite the things she took me through—I love her.

 Despite the fact that people thinks she’s ruined—I love her.

 Because she can pull off ruined so beautifully—I love her.

She is my mother. She has made me the strong woman that I am.

I love her—and I always will.

 Because she’s been through everything—a depression, a recession and three riots that she never fully bounced back from.

 But she lies there beautifully. Lies there beautifully in her ruins.

And Ms. Detroit, I love you.

 And all I want to do is bring new life to you.

Advertisements

7 comments

  1. Jason White · August 30, 2011

    Good job, this is a very nicely composed piece. Extremely powerful, I’m so proud of you!!!!!

    • janachantel · August 30, 2011

      Aww, thanks Jay!

  2. DAUNE MILLER AKA AUNTIE DAUNEDAUNE · August 30, 2011

    Jana, Jana all I can say is that you have been through everything! The death of your mother, the death of your father, wounded at the hands of your brother. Yet God has sustained you. He told Ms. Detroit that you are His own and that she had to remove her hold. You see God is saying, Jana you belong to me! I have made you strong and I will never release you from my Hold. You are so beautiful and I Love you!!!

    • janachantel · August 31, 2011

      Thanks Auntie Daune Daune!

  3. IAm Ria'Cashi Duhh · September 8, 2011

    Gotta love our city..Nicely put!!

  4. Mark Butler · September 8, 2011

    This is real nice Jana…..your a beauiful writer and young lady. Keep it going!!!

    • janachantel · September 8, 2011

      Aww, thanks Mark! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s