The Paper Chase: A Gangster's Love Poem

The Paper Chase: A Gangster's Love Poem




The Paper Chase: A Gangster’s Love Poem

I dedicate this piece to the young man out there desperate to conquer the streets, and the young woman out there desperate to conquer his heart.



Six Brown Chicks’s Zondra Hughes penned this poem. Photo: Curtis Pickens.

You represent me now, Boo.

One day I’m gonna’ spoil you.

Couture suits, Italian shoes…

trips around the world, to anywhere you choose

Breakfast in bed, all times of the day,

living that high life, just like J and Bey.


Do you know why I call you “Big Daddy?”

It’s cuz I look up to you.

I never had a male role model of my own,

and I don’t want that fate for our son.


You represent me now, Boo.

Never mind how I get it, I’ll always give to you.


I’m grateful for the Gucci clutch…

but I worry about you so much!


I’m representing me now, so I gotta stay on the grind.

I can’t be on the home front, while these fools are out to get mine.


Too many have set the precedent

that there’s no life in chasing dead presidents.


I’ve got the money now…

 f* the fame.

Even bought you a bomb ass dress

Just like what’s-her-name’s…


I don’t know the hour, but I know the end is near.

I won’t even speak of my biggest fear.

I appreciate it Big Daddy, I really do.

But I don’t wanna wear a black dress–don’t. force. me. to.


I can’t be tussling with you and hustling for you!

Don’t you like the crib, the ride, the shoes?


I don’t need the Louboutins; I’d go barefoot to stay in your arms.

Come home, Big Daddy. Come home to me.


I’m representing me now, Boo.

I’ve got one more score to settle, just one more thing to do.

Do you know how small I feel when our son calls for you?

Or when he cries your name in vain, just as I do?


I’m representing me now, Boo.

Don’t you know what you’re putting me through?


But the cops are on my ass, and I’ve got one more thing to do.

Don’t you know I would love you–even if you had no loot?



If a man has no paper, does that man exist?

A man with fast paper will be judged by 12,

…or carried by six.


I gotta provide.

I need you alive.


I gotta get mine.

Our son has your eyes…




You knew you were dealing with a thug.

You’re my only soldier. You’re my true love.


What are you telling me?

I want serenity.

And to know that you’re next to me.

I don’t want a life filled with jailhouse letters.

I want a Strawberry Letter, No. 23.


Prove what you say is true.

 I’ll move heaven and earth for you.


Tell me what you want for us, I’ll show you what I can do.

 -by zondra hughes



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  • Now this poem is definitely, "real talk." A very powerful message that needs to be heard by all. Oh, and I absolutely love the song,Strawberry 23, brings back many, many, good memories:) Thanks Zondra!

  • In reply to shoyabowman:

    Shoya, what do you know about Stravberry Letter #23!! That's old school.. You're too young... LOL!

  • I LOVE IT! This is very real and it flows effortlessly into a real live conversation of the constant struggle of a young man out there desperate to conquer the streets, and the young woman out there desperate to conquer his heart.

    Great piece Zondra

  • In reply to YanniBrown:

    Thank you! I hope it reaches its intended target...

  • This is definitely on point Zondra. Being a brother who lives & breathes to be a provider, it warms my heart to know that real women--REAL women--care. For real. Thank you.

  • In reply to derrickmlane:

    Hey DL,
    There are many REAL sisters out there, who would definitely love their man if he had no loot. Trust.

  • In reply to derrickmlane:

    LOVE the song!! PAC, miss him!! LOVE the model! Heeeeeeyyyyy cutie ;) And that dialogue is REAL!! You hit it HARD with that one, Z!! Cute kid, too! This is the plea of sooo many women and poses the question and exposes the pressure... Who they hustle for? And why they can't stop... DEEP! <3 it!!

  • In reply to derrickmlane:

    Totally on point. Been there and did it so many times. Love is a beautiful thing, that will make you do some crazy things! Love it!

  • In reply to derrickmlane:

    Thanks Shoya for the invite. Grretings ladies. I love your poem Zondra, I believe that it speaks to many men in that life. We as men should look deeper into the situations we put ourselves and significant others into when we go about our business (not just thugging). Many times there is some child looking to us or looking up to us and we may not recognize the impact we are making in doing or not doing, being or not being. REALISTICALLY, it is very difficult for a woman to treat or see a man as a man, if his pockets are empty for whatever reason. It is very sweet and idyllic for us to believe in the altruistic that accepts her man unconditionally without cheese. Every woman wants to be pampered, and let's face it, society is materialistic and we all dwell here, it is only natural to want the niceties of life. When God's perfect creation wants something, she doesn't want to hear how her broke-ass man cannot provide. He's a buster and she's on to the next one, or she has that sour look on her face, right before she berates her man with a quick quip expressing how she has to do for herself because he can't. So, I cannot buy into that idea of the old-fashioned woman that says take the things back all I want is poor you. There are women with broke-ass men, but do know that they do not respect him as the man because he cannot fulfill his key duty as provider, and she is upset with him, not loving him anyway. Real talk. RealDude speaks.

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