Street Dreams

Detroit Youth Poets Describe The Streets They Walk Each Day

Four middle school students at Marcus Garvey Academy on the city’s East side shared the poems and photographs you see below. WDET partnered with InsideOut Literary Arts Project, Off/ Page Project and these talented youth to capture the dreams they have for the streets they walk each day.

Street Dreams is part of Inheriting Detroit, WDET’s ongoing series that looks at all aspects of life in Detroit through the eyes of young poets.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

- Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings


by Pharez Montgomery

The street where wild dogs roam
and Superdog saves them.
The street where old brick houses
are conquered by plants and weeds.

The street where you can find
any basketball game to play in.
The street where little kids give
screams of laughter as they play with their friends.

The street where young pups are
guided by Superdog and Supercat of the neighborhood.
The street where the heart of a hero
never goes a day without the praise of others.

Meet Pharez.

He’s 12. He lives on the west side of the city.

“…It’s a nice neighborhood. It’s quiet. But also things happen. But it’s a nice little neighborhood. You always see somebody playing.”

Poetry by Pharez Montgomery | Photography by Eddie Stewart & Pharez Montgomery
Poetry by Pharez Montgomery | Photos by Eddie Stewart & Pharez Montgomery

Melody Street

by Rebekkah Fitts

A street with singing raindrops
that hug you with warmth.

A street with unconditionally,
irrevocable love.

A street with frogs that are cars.
A street with an infinite theme song.
A street with harmonized doorbells.
A street with jello houses.
A street with cheese buildings.
A street with fish-tailed seat belts.

My street.
A street of melody
poem writers.
A street with technologized
windows so you could see the
future at anytime of the
unknown day.

Meet Rebekkah.

She’s a soft-spoken seventh-grader, and poetry helped her find her voice.

“It was very hard for me to express myself orally — so I just started writing poetry about me and my life, my future and my past.”

Poetry by Rebekkah Fitts | Footage from Prelinger Archive
Poetry by Rebekkah Fitts

The Street

by Kimberly Smith

The street with no ending.
The street with no people.
The street with no road kill.
Yeah, that’s my street.

The street with the little old widow.
The street with the blooming flowers.
The street with the cars on 34’s.
Yeah, that’s my street.

The street with a dog that wanders.
The street with the poor.
The street with the love and peace.
Yeah, that’s my street.

The street with a young single mother.
The street with the flower that glows with love.
The street with me.
Yeah, that’s my street.

Meet Kimberly.

She wants to be a prosecuting attorney when she grows up.

When talking about her dream street she said, “I want to see people comfort each other. I want to see peace.”

Poetry & Photos by Kimberly Smith

Dream Street

by Quintin Pope

Dream Street is where
all poetry sleeps and eats
and most importantly lives.

Dream Street is where
poems live as a family
whether sad or mad
good or bad

Dream Street is real
without Dream Street
where would poetry live?

In fact I found this
poem in Dream Street
so the easy way to make
a poem is to go to Dream

It’s the one house
on Dream Street where
all poems come together
to lift all the lives of readers
so thank all poems because
it takes all they got to dig deep.

Meet Quintin.

His hobby is “playing video games on a regular basis.”

“I’m going to try football or whatever and if that don’t come out right then poetry is going to be my second hand.”

Poetry and Photos by Quintin Pope

This series was produced by Terry Parris Jr. and Shelby Reynolds in partnership with the InsideOut Literary Arts Project and the Off/Page Project. Special thanks to author and iO Senior Writer Peter Markus.

Keep up the good work, Mr. P.