Choice vs. Chance

January 28, 2017 by Guest Student Author

by Micah (To'Londa) Torres '18. Performed in housemeeting on Martin Luther King Day. The quote that inspired it is included at the end.

Back in a world full of collared shirts & poodle skirts.

Our dear old friend Mr. Jim,

Sometimes pushed us out on a limb.

And even though we've never met.

This is where I found my closest friend.

A little girl.

Beautiful to her mom,

But ugly to the world.

Anyways the little girl,

That was little baby Q,

Had lots of love for everyone,

Including me and you.

She worked hard to make others happy,

Even if it made her sad.

And Q was quite strong,


Especially For A Child Without A Dad.

It's not her fault she's different,

Lighter skin than midnight,

Darker skin than paper white.

An outcast. Tossed away,

Not once ever asked to go out and play.

Beautiful caramel complexion that should be cherished by her "brothers"

Instead it was proof enough for them to widow her poor mother.

Romeo & Juliet,

Two kids in love when they first met.

Deep chocolate, and coarse pain, set every single vein in her body on fire.

They had a daughter.

Guess who! It was Q.

Night time dangers lurked closer yesterday.

"They took my daddy away."

She still sees him though,

If she looks out of the window.

Strange Fruit hangs from The Willow.

Since then her mom was real unstable,

She was tougher than her mother,

And fought hard to make her proud.

But an eleven year old child,

Is no match for such a crowd.

Such pretty hair, not nappy curly.

She can't enjoy it though, Q's fate came early.

Society is cruel,

That’s all that you can say.

I know it’s hard to think about it,

But someone always has to pay.

I hate to add to poor Q's baggage but even now in 2k16, we have the same issues just in different packages.

The USA is all messed up,

And our leaders now, they show it.

Our society is truly sick,

And everybody knows it.

Our parents leave us kids at home

Thinking that we’re safe.

When really they’re leaving young adults,

Who truly run the place.

Little girls and boys think it’s cool

To walk around with straps.

And they learned it from their parents

So now we’re truly trapped.

Trapped in this cycle,

And I hate

Hate how this happens.

So my future,

Is the future that I’m going to be mapping

And that he say/she say,

Let’s go fight around the corner from where we’d play

It needs to end

Isn’t it terrible how young children are scared to trust the protectors of all men

But that’s how we were raised

Had to steal money for mommy cause we had a late rent to pay.

It went from…

Class Jokers,

To Skipping Smokers.


Kids who want to fix things,

To kids who aren’t worried about nobody they’re just tryna leave.

Violence was wrong,

But now it’s the only answer

And people will do anything for attention,

It causes such great tension.

Plus today I heard a hero killed another,

Her dream to be a dancer.

All over a spot in line???

That was actually hers.

He Just got mad when he wouldn’t believe his lies

So he chose to take her life

And now she’s gone

But nobody’s gonna cry

That little girl was black and I’m telling you that’s why

Nobody trusts nobody cause when you do you end up hurt

And if you call authorities they’d need attack you for needing help

Then they’d desert…

Desert their positions

But not their badges

That’s how they get away with things when things happen

They’re supposed to be protectors, But they all abandoned ship

Nobody here is stupid and we all caught that drift.

They tell me to be quiet when we share our opinions,

A society where being intelligent is only a characteristic of one shade.

Placing us against each other so when we fall they don't have to take the blame.

Yet we must fight on, have pride in your browns, they have pride in their blondes.

End the commercial beauty that has been placed upon us,

End the war between us, fight for one common cause.

Black Lives Matter..

(Someone In Background Calls Out: “ALL LIVES MATTER.”)


The same group that’s fought for police brutality among all colors,

Is shamed by those without these issues.

I have to tell you a secret,

You know that little girl we just saw hanging from a tree.

A different time period and they haven't set us free.

Of course I'm not up hanging, but there's Q and look it's me.

Let me not leave you with a false impression. The problem is far from solved. We still have a long, long way to go before the dream of freedom is a reality for the Negro in the United States. To put it figuratively in biblical language, we have left the dusty soils of Egypt and crossed a Red Sea whose waters had for years been hardened by a long and piercing winter of massive resistance. But before we reach the majestic shores of the Promised Land, there is a frustrating and bewildering wilderness ahead. We must still face prodigious hilltops of opposition and gigantic mountains of resistance. But with patient and firm determination we will press on until every valley of despair is exalted to new peaks of hope, until every mountain of pride and irrationality is made low by the leveling process of humility and compassion; until the rough places of injustice are transformed into a smooth plane of equality of opportunity; and until the crooked places of prejudice are transformed by the straightening process of bright-eyed wisdom.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Written by Guest Student Author

Periodically students volunteer or are asked to write for the Stoneleigh-Burnham blog.

Filed Under: Poetry, anti-racism, racism, Black Lives Matter