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Kid, Protect Thy King



As I laid in my institutional bed at 11 -pause
my mind exploded with dreams and ideas.

At first, I shared my
dreams and ideas
with my roommate, Richard Burney.

Richard was a Black teenager
with cerebral palsy.

I would say to Richard,
"Man, I have a dream that I will make cake (money),
go to Uconn (University of Connecticut),
get a chick (woman)
and have kids."

Richard would say,
"You ain't shit Teddy.
N*gger, you ain't nothing."

Richard was my negative roommate
for 8 years.

Richard's attitude was shared by most people around me. Basically, the institution was a place to eat, breathe, relieve human waste and die. It was not a place for the imagination to excite the prefrontal cortex - thinking brain. Creativity was never permitted to be planted, to take root, to grow, and to be harvested. Children with disabilities sat in their wheelchairs with their minds locked in a prison of loneliness, hopelessness, despair, poverty, and inferiority. Surrounded by pending death and gloom, I retreated to books and my mental room within a secure fortress of my five senses.

All the past and current motivational writers and speakers command, "avoid negative people and thoughts." However, most kids with disabilities live in the sewage of negativity. So I built a fortress in my mind from pieces of a chessboard. The king was my prefrontal cortex and the queen was my heart. The rest of the pieces existed to kill the incoming enemy of negativity. All the pieces needed food. The food was Star Trek, the Public Broadcasting Station, National Geographic, books, Playboy, and any library. The pieces ate the food each day and exercised. This food empowered my king to think, question and debate. I learned debating a long time with a negative person makes the person avoid me. Debating kills a fool. I committed many homicides or my pieces had the pleasure of the kill.

The King has a storage device that stores whatever is repeatedly seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted. Without the Queen and pieces to stop what is seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted the storage device stores any repeated information. My fortress refused to allow my device to store negative information about me, my future, and my abilities. My imagination and creativity took flight as Richard mastered cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, commercial TV ads, sports teams, and gossip. No matter what he said to me my King thought of how my future would be one of risk-taking - The risk of leaving the institution. The risk of going to college. The risk of working. The risk of marrying. My pieces killed Richard's words.

I discovered and protected my King at a very early age. I took many risks and had temporary failures: Divorce. Disbarment. Foreclosure. Few friends. But my King, Queen, and Pieces survived these storms of life. God blessed me with an awesome King. So God save the King.

November 24, 2014
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Submitted by dr_pinnock on July 19, 2021

2:30 min read
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Dr. T. Pinnock

Dr. Pinnock first wrote poetry in the institution he resided in inside a classroom at 8 years old. The typewriter was old and manual with a keyguard. A keyguard is a device with an opening for each key to prevent a person lacking fine motor skills from accidentally hitting a key. Dr. Pinnock was granted permission to use the class alone. He labored there typing for hours ignoring his cerebral palsy. Dr. Pinnock grew up with his family until August of 1970. Poverty forced his parents to make him a ward of the State of Connecticut. more…

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"Kid, Protect Thy King" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 29 May 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/105306/kid%2C-protect-thy-king>.

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