“Back in the days when I was young
I’m not a kid anymore
There’s some days I sit & wish I was a kid again”

Back in the days I busted out wearing a pair of ZIPS
The fastest shoes around
I had to beg moms to get them
Cause if equipped I thought I’d be able to rip
fools on the playground
just slide your feet back and forth
like you were making two lines on the ground
like you had to wind yourself up like a toy car
and when you were wound far
ready to round
your fool friends
with no end in mind
except maybe to find
whoever was hiding
or to run around just to run  around
get chased just to get chased
in an endless race

to get going
to put yourself in gear
to propel yourself forward
on tv you heard
you just needed to connect those 2 lines that you just dug into the grass
finishing up the Z would be enough to make you go fast
a Z
like you were El Zorro
but without the sword
your zips were your sword
you used them to make your mark on the ground
like you were bound for the creed of speed
cause when you were 8 years old
speed was all you would need
faster you’d say
faster you’d say
faster you’d say

And at that age,
I was already taught that faster was better
Put into a race for whatever
Reason was endless
Going without knowing
Just as long as you were going fast

Like today
We want to be fast
But we want to be even faster
Last year’s technology is already too slow
We’re trying to go
Faster each time
We think things  are faster so we can save time
But the funny thing is
we’re not really saving time after all
especially when sometimes can’t even call
each other back
can’t even track where we supposed to be
so we gotta check our schedules
before we can commit to kickin it
“can I kick it
yes you can”…
…if I got time

these days we say more & more
that we DON’T have time
we’re so plugged in
that we’re really plugged out
it’s like we’re devout
disciples to the religion of faster technology
moving further & further away
from the basics of humanity
with these blackberries
and oh there’s also the
cellphones with mp3s
Computer Countdown!
to the g3
g4s and don’t forget the g5
you ludicrously wonder
how did we all survive?
You know I’m not lying
That’s fo sho
“and if I lie my nose will grow
like a little boy named Pinocchio
and you all know how the story go”

I can’t wear  those Zips anymore
they don’t make em
and 2
I’m not that kid that runs around just to run around anymore

But in some ways maybe I do run around
I’m caught up running around this game of mortgages
School loans
Medical bills that wanna run me into the ground
Bureaucracies designed to limit me
With Forms Applications Tests
Jargon intended to reduce my access
So I gotta run
And I gotta hustle for my flow
It don’t come easy despite what I know
Or with what I do
So maybe that’s why I still rock running shoes
And it’s not back in the day but I still wanna rock it that way
So I roll in old school Pumas
2 tone Sauconys
Asics Tigers
nylon New Balances because they help me
stay bouncy on my feet
cause this race has got me running
but at least now I try to run it to my own beat
with rhythms inside my head
got me redefining what it means to be fed
inside my soul

So I don’t wear Zips
But I  still kick it old school
Shell Toe Adidas
Is my 1 true ground rule
Because it rules the ground that I walk on
Stands at the base of mics that I rock on
Steady as I can be like a b boy
In a freeze pose
And through ancient Chinese wisdoms
Now I know
To gain knowledge one must gather each day
But to gain TRUE WISDOM one must lose in order to find the way

So let me lose
So I can bring back
back in the day
To make it be today
Because “back in the day when I was young
I’m not a kid anymore
There’s some days I sit and wish I was a kid again.”

©G. Reyes, 2007

G Reyes is often seen walking in deep thought through crowded hallways of youth, sharing passionate secrets and wisdoms on microphones, and guiding growing teaching & learning souls towards seeking their own liberation.  G is a warrior using transformative education, words, and concise ideas as weapons in the Oakland public schools, after school programs, teacher education programs, universities, and in school reform institutions.  He aspires to serve educators and youth towards transforming the self, schools, communities, language, knowledge, and the profession of education.


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