Crushed by the Weight of My Pain

This poem is not meant to offend nor condemn but instead to ease the torment lying on my heart and to shed light upon the indelible impact of collective racial trauma for people of color who continue to repeatedly and painfully witness the tragic murders of unarmed black men and women

A poem for George Floyd while the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor remain woefully fresh on my mind

Hot, searing tears sting my cheeks

My fragile heart breaks again

Unbearable pain literally grips my chest

Closing around my throat, choking my words

My body trembles, my brain confused as my head spins

Eyes reddened by grief

Grief that painfully shifts into horror

Horror that transforms into disbelief

And disbelief that mutates into a fiery rage that threatens to overtake me

Will it consume me?

I CAN’T – my heart screams

Another black man murdered – a son, or maybe an uncle, brother, or father

His life so callously extinguished

Videos circulate, capturing his senseless murder

Akin to a modern-day lynching

But are we not tired of the show?

Say his name – George Floyd

It feels like an utter disregard for this black man’s hopes and his dreams

No concern for his breath crushed under the weight of another man’s knee

His blackness met with fear and violence rather than compassion and kindness

I ponder so many questions like:

Why does his blackness frighten you?

Why do you so easily dismiss the sanctity of his life?

Perhaps it’s because he doesn’t look like someone you know or someone you love or does it run deeper

Is it because you see a monster instead of a man?

Through what distorted lens do you view the black man?

When will you change your biased-filled perspective?

When will you stop forcing him to become that which he was never designed to be for he should have never been enslaved nor should he continue to be narrowly defined by racist ideology?

God made him beautiful, created in His own divine image

Just like you, God made him fearfully and wonderfully

Why does his black life not matter?

No, not more than a white man’s life but seen as equally important, a life to be cherished, celebrated, and protected

Has it ever?

Miss me with that “well, he should have did as he was told”

Please stop disavowing my heartache and my pain

I am hurting and your silence resonates so loudly that my ears bleed as my faith in humanity struggles to persist

We need collective healing, but the broken, the oppressed can’t be the cure

It’s time to heal, America

And love is the answer

Let love radically change our views, our policies, our practices, our systems, and our laws

I will leave you with the timely words of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr:

No, violence is not the way. Hate is not the way. Bitterness is not the way. We must stand up with love in our hearts, with a lack of bitterness and yet a determination to protest courageously for justice and freedom in this land.

8 thoughts on “Crushed by the Weight of My Pain

  1. Amazing and so touching. I think all of us are feeling a resurgence of grief, anger, and disgust. Don’t know where to put it.

    1. Thank you, Marie. And you are so right. That’s one of the primary reasons why I write – to process all this hard, heavy stuff that we face far too often.

  2. Beautifully spoken cousin! I stand in fear for our black males. I have 3 sons and 6 grandsons and I always fearing for their lives at the hands of corrupted cops for something simple as a speeding ticket. . It hurts my heart to see the videos of how they murdered George Floyd with no type of empathy for what they was doing to this man! I pray that justice be served and the officers gets the punishment they so deserve for the murdering this young man.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.