Detroit Seasons

By Jessica Reed

Arkansas cotton fields to Detroit landscapes,
My family’s southern roots blossomed into maple trees and dandelions decorating yards

On the city's west side,
Summer scents of blackened charcoal watered my mouth in hunger for hot dogs perfectly grilled, burnt on top.
My stomach danced to Mr. Softy’s childish jukebox,
kids on my block hustled for $1 passports to ice cream dreams.
Nothing stung like the buzz of the ice cream truck
passing us up ‘cause our shouts were unheard, hands waving into fading hopes,
rising again
when the next truck came.

Fall welcomed school days.
In high school, catching DDOT buses
Was like waiting to trap a fly,
I stood at the Schoolcraft bus stop as hours added up,
I searched for my voice at a high school of choice
Where we had to test to get in, impress to fit in,
Looking back, I wonder why all Detroit’s young couldn't have the best to them given

I grew up and became fed up whenever
Detroit souls were hidden to those who refuse to see
The city as more than a barren landscape in a relentless winter
where nothing of color grows
To those who only see Downtown and Midtown
As the sole nucleus

Why claim Detroit
If you suddenly frame it as a city whose season is its overdue spring,
An image of a place to grow when you don't truly love its heart,
Its Blackness that beats with the genius
of people creating:
Sounds of Motown, J Dillas, and Stretch Moneys,
Dancing hustles and daily hustles to pursue dreams,
Gardens and community and laughter on porches,
Spaces to heal and affirm humanity.

Why claim Detroit
if you don't truly love it?



About Jessica

Jessica Reed is from the Northwest side of Detroit. She loves to work with youth, and write about hope.

Posted on October 16, 2017 .