The Riots were the week before my prom
A month & a half before my graduation
Southern California was a time bomb

Race relations warring like Vietnam
My crew more like the United Nations
The Riots were the week before my prom

So Cal needed mindfulness like Thich Nhat Hanh
Multicultural coalitions for communication
Southern California was a time bomb

Tired citizens needed a new song
All the broadcasts played nonstop frustration
The Riots were the week before my prom

Three months later I moved out of my Mom’s
UCLA my emancipation
Southern California was a time bomb

Poetry & music promoted more calm
Journal writing became my salvation
The Riots were the week before my prom
Southern California is a time bomb

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MIKE SONKSEN aka Mike the PoeT is a 3rd-generation Los Angeles native. Poet, professor, journalist, historian and tour-guide, his latest book Letters to My City was just published by Writ Large Press. Sonksen teaches in the Interdisciplinary Department at Woodbury University and is the Coordinator of the School's First Year Experience Program.

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