Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature's law is wrong it
learned to walk with out having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping it's dreams,
it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else ever cared.
JUNE 16, 1971 - SEPTEMBER 13, 1996
THE INTERVIEW THAT INSPIRED THE POEM
THE MEANING OF CONCRETE ROSE IN HIS OWN WORDS
“You try to plant somethin in the conrete, y’knowhatImean? If it GROW, and the and the rose petal got all kind of Scratches and marks, you not gon’ say, “Damn, look at All the scratches and marks on the rose that grew from concrete” You gon’ be like, “Damn! A rose grew from the concrete?!” Same thing with me, y’knahmean? I grew out of all of this Instead of sayin, “Damn, he did this, he did this,” Just be like, “DAMN! He grew out of that? He came out of that?” That’s what they should say, y’knowhatImean? All the trouble to survive and make good out of the dirty, nasty Y’knowhahatImean unbelievable lifestyle they gave me I’m just tryin to make somethin.. You see you wouldn’t ask why the rose that grew from the concrete Had damaged petals. On the contrary, we would all celebrate its Tenacity. We would all love it’s will to reach the sun Well, we are the roses – this is the concrete – and these are My damaged petals. Don’t ask me why, thank God, ask me how! Hahahaha