Maybe We Can Finally Breathe

I wrote this poem last year, right after George Floyd was killed, while the protests were going on. A lot happened in my life since then that prevented me from doing what I wanted to do with this poem, which was make a video for it.

Yesterday I watched the closing arguments in the trial of the officer who killed George Floyd, and I felt compelled to share my poem with the world.

Now, with the verdict in, maybe we are finally making some progress and the last line of my poem has a possibility of becoming a reality.

I Can’t Breathe

I thought I was waking up to just another day

But I saw something, and could not look away

The images play over and over again in my mind

I try to understand, but no answers can I find

This was no mistake, so don’t be mistaken

A life was not lost, in the light of day it was taken

Once again we bear witness to a truth so many still deny,

as “I can’t breathe,” once a plea, now becomes a battle cry

Unarmed, but not unharmed, in peace, forever, he does lay

Adding yet another debt, to a balance no one is willing to pay

How can two men go down on one knee, yet stand so far apart?

And though they beat the same, have such different hearts?

It’s time we stand united, and stop writing this same tragic history

Together, creating a land, where every woman and every man, are finally, and truly, free

Marie Kukula-Tyner

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