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Much More Courage
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By Louis Gander
Other Poems by Louis Gander

Much More Courage

I got no dad that I know of.

My mama's scarcely seen.

My aunt takes care of all of us.

Her boyfriend's really mean.

There's danger on my city street,

there's danger in my school,

there's danger in my local store -

if I'm not lookin' cool.


I've come too far to turn back now,

I've come too far to change.

I've come too far inside the gang -

you prob'ly think I'm strange.

If I don't have the tattoo'd marks

with gang I'm runnin' in -

If I don't have my gun and knife,

there's no way I will win.


I've learned my lesson, know it well.

and if I have to chance -

I'll use my gun if there's a need.

The fittest will romance -

and start the cycle once again

to bring another child

into the war zone I'm in now

where hate and anger's wild.


Ya' think God's Ten Commandments here

will do us any good?

Our culture isn't going to change

from here within 'the hood'.

"Thou shalt not kill", "thou shalt not steal" -

Who listens to them words?

And even your Supreme Court said

those words are 'for the birds'.


No, I grew up in culture where

there is no safe escape -

where sirens fill the midnight skies

and morning finds bright tape -

surrounding yet another scene

where one more body lay -

where each one has an answer for -

...but has nothing to say.


I cried when I saw sister there -

my little flower bud -

her smiling face, forever gone

inside her pool of blood.

It's not a 'group' that must be saved,

but individuals -

and I pray now that God would shake

their thick and stubborn skulls.


Some good old-fashioned discipline

is needed once again.

Respect is needed - and despite

the color of the skin.

And every individual

must learn it from God's Son.

It takes a real man to love.

It starts with only one.


Am I the one to lead this gang

that they be real men -

where we can live in full respect

and humbleness again?

Some think they're tough when they can hold

a gun to garner fear -

but now I know it takes more guts

to shed one loving tear.


©2013 louis gander ALL RIGHTS RESERVED




(This poem was written not to judge but rather to save lives and souls.

It involves ALL cultures to some degree or another because

we all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God.

The culture is obvious to all of us.  The 'fault' is not to argue.

America's "melting pot" MUST have ingredients that melt and God MUST be in that mix.

The ONLY solution to gang violence is our confession, our repentance,

our forgiveness and our faithfulness through God's grace.

If respect is lost, there is no obedience to the parents, the teachers or the law.

REAL discipline does not embarrass the child in public (find a quiet place),

nor does it hit, slap, yell, denigrate the child or show disrespect -

but rather understands, uplifts, reasons, educates, loves and is most always mixed with tears.)


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Submitted: Thursday, August 15, 2013

Last Updated: Friday, August 16, 2013

About the Poet
Born in Richland Center, Wisconsin in 1954. It's the poem's message that matters- not the poet.

Other Poems by Louis Gander

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