Stop Callin' Me
Copyright - Elizabeth Anne 2003
Recess  middle of the day on the playground
Surrounded by classmates friends  the trees
I go to the swingset to fly with ease
Push off with my feet propel forward toes pointed together towards the sky
I can see the eclipse of the sun outline the souls  of my shoes
As they jump even above the trees or so says the point of view  from my eyes
Then   I suspend
For a brief moment in the air thereís no one else up here
as I dare  without a care
To believe that I can shoot high up to outer space to another place 
With only the sun in my face
And then suddenly I start to move backwards back from which I swing
The soundís the strangest thing  I could hear  the birds as they sang
The melody within my ears rang  and I watch as the trees move back upward
My feet slowly slide back underneath me
subconsciously recognizing that memory
Of the ground  they swing inward
so as not to touch it as they feel the force of it go by
Backwards I swing now  again  I touch the sky
But itís now the ground   that is the view  in front of me  ABOVE me
In reality yet I can still see the sun  the trees my shoes
Not a second to lose  I suspend  again  for that brief moment in the air
The colors of the world surround me as I dare without a care
Just before I watch my self  come back down from up there
As the ground shoots forward to meet me I have the option  of three choices
I can force my feet upon the ground 
and shoot my body up towards another sun dip
I can just ride the glide  as a shorter distance defines each trip
Or I can slam my toes into the ground  and end this momentís rocket ship
Yes  three choices defined like voices if only they could speak     
If only they were wishes  out loud I spoke     three wishes   all belonging to me
And then I noticed another voice  the strangest thing I could hear  as it sang

Ah   three wishes if only I had three wishes
What is it I would wish for what would I get could I obtain
From what I otherwise refrain could I acquire what I desire 
Wealth   Health   and Fame
I search out  but do not find  what I cause is only in my mind
Swinging  high   up towards the sky  all the while that I roam  
I must await  the Great Chariot swing low coming forth to carry me home

I JUMPED off of the swing  running towards the teacher Tell me whoís that man
Oh  thatís the gravedigger  he lives around the corner of the schoolís gym
Comes up to the playground sometimes  signing his church hymns
His songs are old gospels trust me his presence is no harm

But as he walked away  his words were no mere song 
raising the hairs on my arm

Oh Lord hear my plea and help me  to understand  three wishes to be free
I wish they knew Iím not the one making the problems bigger
Iím just the gravedigger
I wish they would just stop calliní me  Nigga
I wish I for just once someone else would get accused of  pulling the trigger

   I never know when   I just might try to stake it
Part 1
Yeah it sucks to be broke worse when youíre a kid
Even worse when youíre a teenager feels like itís something you said or did
That makes people turn their nose up at you when in reality
Thatís just how they do  to make them feel like theyíre better than you
Itís one thing when theyíre adults and they should already have it made
Itís another when theyíre your own age  at your school in the same grade
Money canít buy happiness but it will purchase a few things thatíll fool ya
The lack of it causes reality  that sadly enough will school ya
And just how does it feel for a mother working all the time
Too many bills left to pay for her to have fun in her prime
Every time she sees something she wants  forget it
The same goes for her children  who know they wonít get it
And yet she will hear  Well thatís the price you pay for keeping the children
As if there were ever a choice in the matter
As the other parent literally smokes and drinks his life away
What difference to him would it make of the burden

And itís strange  the gossip I endured in earlier years
Prepared me for the next installment   of anger and tears
You try not to bring it upon yourself yet it hurts when you cannot belong
So you lash back out at those who jest 
because somehow it makes you feel strong
Is that why they did it always calliní me names
Pointing the finger at me and all my shame
Starting school in that worn torn dress somebody threw out
You know the tune  being without  the simple things in doubt
Walking down the outcast hallways searching for your own identity
Music will set you free  yeah  music  will set you  free

Momma was lucky to get the small home we got
The bills he had left behind  left us without a shot
At having a decent income for a really long time
But since Momma chose to work for a living well they would let her keep a dime
Youíre white or at least you appear to be   
so welfare is not an option  ultimately
Oh you make 12 dollars a month too much to get food stamps
Okay weíll throw you a few  we cannot force him to pay his child support
That burden will have to rest on you you wonít receive help  
even though in need
See you truly are the black sheep  of the family

In line at the grocery store lets see what this weeks 20 bucks will buy
Yeah  pot pies  noodles  tomato paste and Mommaís surprise
Another family is loaded with food stamps and gold chains on their necks - arms
None of that Goodwill crap their clothes are upbeat 
As they leave the parking lot shit that ride is sweet
I donít get it Momma how can they have all that nice stuff
When they are broke just like us  Momma said  child  because
They are a minority and we are not  our appearance leaves the government
With no reason to control our lot  Iíd give a better answer
But in anger  one I have not  and I must admit Iím sick of it
But for all I work  pot pies and noodles is all I got

And yet  in life  they assume me  part of that  minority
Which is funny because I do not gain from any affirmative benefit it might bring

Nah, I think that they should stop calliní ME  Nigga.
I think that everything I lack from   may eventually pull my trigger

  I never know when  I just might not be able to fake it
Part 2
Part 3
Like it hasnít happened before  or wonít ever happen again
Neighbor walks up to our fence  to tell us why her kids wonít be visiting

Iíve heard the stories they talk around here about you
They all said you were crazy and now I know itís TRUE
Youíre as bad as that guy they ran out of here before who was that again
Oh yeah that loud mouth Jew
Youíre just as unpopular  and your daughterís just as noisy as you
Listening to that rap music singing that soul crap all day
Posters all on her wall of Michael Jackson, Prince, Rick James
They say in school sheís always around the black kids
And they say she acts just the same
Or she hangs out with the punk kids
Nobody knows who they are  none of them go by their real names
No wonder sheís such a freak you might as well let her run wild
As for my child  Iíll keep her in my own cover
I donít want her associating with some nigger lover

Momma wasnít a quiet woman but on occasion she could hold her own
On this particular day  the moment had grown
Momma stood about all she could and then she calmly let this bitch have it good

Iím not too sure where YOU came from 
and I donít care from WHENCE you moved
Maybe where youíre from  they teach you to think youíre better than the rest
But where Iím from  oh yeah that would HERE we lived by the rule
To let each be their own  and to respect your fellow neighbor
You Yankees come here and change everything 
I read it everyday in the paper
Keep this in mind when moving back and forth
we donít care how you did it up north
Weíre third generation Florida Crackers!  Iím sorry but I think I was here FIRST
So donít go acting like you own the place your presence only makes it worse
Iím getting tired of the white trash mentality, seems to be taking over in zones
I work 80 hours a week  and both my daughterís stay at home
I didnít raise them to go running up and down the streets getting into trouble
What music they listen to thatís their own business
If the parents around here paid more attention to their own families
They might see some of the things IíVE witnessed
I try to ignore a lot of shit around here 
but itís beginning to become painfully clear
That I have to stand up for myself 
and teach my daughterís the same lack of fear
And you have the audacity to stand here  and point out all MY scars
Just who in the HELL do you think YOU are
And if Iím so crazy  then you must be too  coming over to MY place
Acting all mighty  getting up in MY face
You know  youíre really pushing my patience
Youíre white  and arenít you married to an Asian?
I donít come down here   screaming Chinc lover  Come again?
Yet you harass my daughterís because theyíre part Indian
Or  excuse me now they call us Native American
But you still choose to label me whatever you THINK you can scare me with

Lady  I think YOU need to stop calliní MY DAUGHTER   Nigger
You NEED to think twice before you start pulling that
    stones thrown in glass houses forgetting who YOUR spouse is
     redneck mindset asinine head check
    prejudiced mouth blaring gossiping shoe wearing
Pissiní ME OFF in my OWN YARD  trigger

  I never know when   I just might be the one to wake it
Part 4
He picked me up at 8PM He blew on the carís horn  for me to get in
Momma came to the door and said
Excuse me arenít you going to introduce yourself
He apologized and walked up to the house 
told Momma his name and shook her hand
She said  Nice to meet you I hope tonight you two have fun
Please keep this in mind Youíre both young
I donít know your finances but as for us weíre broke  but not dazed
Sheís the last baby I can afford      or ever want      to raise
You show up not even wearing a shirt  yet  I still assume youíre clean 
Remember  whatís in your pants  needs to keep out of her skirt
I donít wanna have to come looking for you and you know exactly what I mean

As we walked to the car  he mumbled she just said that cause Iím black
Momma heard him and replied 
No     my son  I tell ALL the GENTLEMAN callers that
And if I did not consider you such 
some other young man would recognize her touch

We drove up to the store  he stopped went into buy beer
Wait a minute I donít drink  and youíre driving
so I donít know what weíre doing here
Well, I just thought we could kick back and relax  drink a few
Donít worry I remember what your Momma said 
Girl   I ainít taking advantage of you
Nigga   are you CRAZY
I screamed    Iím underage
Excuse me  what did you just call me  he asked without rage
Oh donít start on me again you use that word all the time
And you think because Iím white  it shouldnít be mine
See    words  are only demonstrations of some deeper thought or expression
Actions should not be re-actions
But instead  how we CHOOSE to act
We could feel what we want to feel
Yet we let     the outside world determine whatís real
Inside your own existence  you could decide to be free
See Iíve spent my whole life letting  WORDS    GET      to me
I swear as I stand here  this statement is true
I do not use that title to somehow  GET  to YOU
Rather  I use it to connect because we share a common bond
And what WE say to one another  only the similar differentiating of others
Can relate to the meaning of what weíre really going through
And yes  it is true  if I hear another say it   I immediately jump in defense
But between you and I  there should be no such pretence

As I spoke this to him he looked me straight in the eye
And this is what he spoke in reply

I personally donít find it cute or funny
Using that term like youíre exempt from what it means
I understand why you want to renounce itís power
But I need to erase it to wash myself clean
From all the hurt and pain that word has caused us
And now we go around saying as if we forget what itís COST us
Now  Iím aware  personally of where your heart is at
But do you really think otherís listening can discern that
When they hear you saying it
what does that tell them about what they hear and see
It may say even less  of what they think  YOU  THINK    about ME

Girl,  I think  you best stop calliní me Nigger.
Every time I hear that word  something in my head pulls a little trigger.

  I never know    I just might no longer take it
And as I lay in my bed that night  I think back to that young time
I heard that old manís song the gravediggerís hymn 
echoing in my mind
And I feel the hairs once again rise up on my arm
His songs are old gospels trust me his presence is no harm
And as I continue to think back to that old time
when the swing set was my domain
And I had no care or concern for  Wealth  Health  or Fame
A time long before the food stamps the trailer park  the teenage spark
The outcast hallways  calling me names
the days of going insane the days of rain
I remember back  upon the one who started all the pain
And I can still hear his voice echo as it rang

Just who do you think I am Iím the man of this household understand
Youíll do as I say youíll listen to me or youíll suffer the consequences dearly
Iím tired of you  woman  henpecking me all the time
nothing is good enough for you
Remember  whatís yourís is now mine and Iíll make the rules 
So shut up your bitchiní  those Confounded kids 
drive me fucking insane with their itching
Everyone shut up Iím mean it
or Iíll stop this car and stomp your asses in the ground
Later   when Iíve settled down  Iíll turn the comments around

Ah honey you know I love you  you just need to try to understand
Your Mommaís a little crazy  and she makes me that way sometimes too
We holler and fight a lot but itís not because of you I know  I holler at you too
But I donít  MEAN  those things to be true
I know I stayed out late every night  but Daddy had bad car trouble
Well  yeah  night after night  these things take time to  fix
You must keep the faith  God will show us the way
I know the church looks down on us now 
But itís not because of what I say
I know itís hard for you in school 
everyone knows our familyís situation but Iíve tried
Oh come on now that wasnít me that told those stories about your Momma 
Yes the whole town thinks she runs around
yes I know she never leaves the house
Yes I know she takes care of all of us
and I know you love her but sheís not the perfect spouse

She just wants you to THINK I tell lies  Why do you keep questioning me
Why is it in your memory   only the bad things seem to    stick
Your Momma has poisoned your minds against me
Even your sister attacked me with a knife It no longer makes sense
No  that doesnít make it okay  what do you mean  it was self defense
Since when have I tried to kill any of you 
what do you mean  you fear for your life
You know I wouldnít have really shot your mother
You donít question what she would have done with that hammer  right

Youíre just like your mother
and now you say you want to live with her instead of me
You think of my existence as only to provide for you
but soon you will see
Iíll put your asses out on the street
with no shoes on your feet  no clothes on your back
No roof over your heads  no food in your mouths     
and then youíll see what youíll lack
Youíll be sorry you turned your back on me 
what do you mean, Now you see ?

If I could go back to that moment now he was so bitter    he knew in his way
He would see to it his words would ring true 
I wish I had stood up to him to say
I wish YOU would realize YOUíRE the one making the problems bigger
your own gravedigger
I wish I had been the one to say 
donít you ever again point a gun a MY momma
I wish I had been the one holding that knife to stand up to all the drama
God help me  if I ever again hear the words you shout as you cuss
God help YOU  if I ever again hear you threaten us
And God help us both  if I ever again hear you holler   Nigga
God help me if I ever again catch you with your finger on  that trigger

       For all you know   I just might break it
Part 5
Iíve come along way now since the questions of my youth
Looking back at the fear and insecurities  I realize I require no proof
For whatever shade I appear  Iíll still resemble the goof
And now everyone is asking me  when you gonna finally make it

I just might try to stake it 
might not be able to fake it 
might be the one to wake it
Might no longer take it 
Just where will you find me when I finally break it

Whatís my ďgimmickĒ  what should the public see
Isnít it enough for them to see just me
If Iím not all that, and my image is in the worst case
Then just what the f**k did they see in me in the first place

Was I shot by Polaroid in the dead of the night
The color having faded  yet no gray in sight
Am I  4 by 6 
or 8 by 10
am I not now  as I was then
or digital videoís height 
Can I make the big screen 
1940 - 35 mm delight
Am I really that simple 
could I be  black and white ?

If I used Technicolor in 2003     on DVD 
Would I then have the capability to project the color of me

I listened wisely   to the poetess prophets of my day
You can sing if youíre the caged bird as do the melodies of
Teena Marie
But you cannot stop what people think  nor the ship in which they sink
Opinions are like assholes if you sniff them  youíll find they stink
There was a color  that spoke out my dilemma and her name was
Hill that Lauryn overcame 
had to first be experienced  before she could teach
Those of us who  LISTEN 
can discern the meaning of what she eventually reached

They finish you and I by ranking  they conclude us within their own hierarchy
The big money    the shopping spree the heavy weight of paying the fee
The beginning of control over what  WE touch smell  taste  hear and   see
  The end of you   the end of me  
The - End - Us Ė Tree

Go ahead make fun of me         as if I donít know where my head is
Make it  APPEAR         as if I cannot handle the said  ďdissĒ
After all Iíve been through to get me here
You donít think my personal agenda is clear
Iím not concerned with what you think  or how you label
You go on ahead itís not ME  making YOU tell MY fable

And as I think back   I suspend  again  for that brief moment in the air
The colors of the world surround me as I dare without a care
To believe that I can fly   high up to outer space  to another place
With only the sun in my face   and forget all those young moments of pain
Then suddenly   I recall a past friendís words
and they are no longer spoken in vein

Now  Iím aware  personally of where MY heart is at
But do I really think otherís listening can discern that
When they hear what Iím saying 
what does that tell them about what they hear and see
It may say even less  of what they think  YOU  THINK    about    ME
And if you realize that fallacy 
then I will know you are truly  LISTENING to me
And I will no longer worry about what image I fall in
Or whatever title it is that someone  chooses to call it
So I will continue even if you donít Stop Calliní Me   Nigga
Because what you say to or about me no longer pulls         that trigger

         Besides  For all you know   I just might make it
Part 6
Copyright - Elizabeth Anne 2003