change · culture · current affairs · poetry

We Will Rest Not, George Floyd

Brazen with whiteness
four toads
exerted presence
cuffed and killed a man

“I can’t breathe.”

On the front lawn
of America
stripped of empathy
the leader knelt

Not in prayer –
reverence burns his lips –
he knelt with authority
or his version, venomous

Three looked on
ignored pleas
gloated in the horror
of life’s final gasp

Humanity’s blood
now cold
unleashing a scream
a primal, reptilian rage

The offspring
of oppression
and hate
uncoiling

Like snakes
nest disturbed
rising against injustice
burning down the walls

As The Man weaves
his tale of dissonance
casting lines of division
few listen..

Black Lives Matter
drowns the rhetoric
the breakthrough is complete
we can no longer look away.

(For George Floyd and all the others murdered senselessly at the hands of those commissioned to protect.  Submitted to Reena’s Exploration challenge: breakthrough.  Image my own.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

culture · Family · Love · poetry · relationships · writing

What’s In a Name?

What’s her name?
Simple question
from mother to son –
recognizing the love-lifted
joy of his countenance.

I cannot tell, said he,
you’ll ask too many questions.
Do I know her?
No, Mom, she’s Somali.
And Muslim.

I felt my whiteness
and all its privilege
slap me, stumbled

Of course she is welcome,
of course it does not matter.

Had no sense of the depth
of my ignorance, how heads
would turn, and vile strangers
attack, and his father shun them.

And how her own mother
would advise her to take his name
when the day of their nuptials came
so that finding work would be easier.

Had no sense of the depth
of my ignorance, how
everyday matters suffer
unfair scrutiny –

hold them in my heart
and pray, knowing my shield
of whiteness holds no sway
to protect them..

(Written for dVerse pub, where Anmol challenges us to address the topic of privilege.)