#blacklivesmatter poem: “I Can’t Breathe…”

June 8, 2020

Aya Pfeufer’s heartfelt response to US cop’s murder of George Floyd

“I can’t breathe…”
These were George Floyd
An African-American man’s last words
As his skin started to bleed from the pressure
Of an American cop called Chauvin

Another global outrage; another death, another murder
Of an innocent human being
While Floyd may now feel at peace
Freedom is still distant from our reach

Floyd was handled brutally by several officers
Chauvin forcefully pushed him to the floor, face down
As if Floyd were just a wild animal
Off the cop’s hunting ground

Yet the sound of Floyd’s desperate voice
Did not change Chauvin’s heartless choice
Even though Floyd was unarmed, the cop still knelt on his neck
Though Floyd begged him to stop, Chauvin casually stayed on top
And this ruthless act has caused a train wreck

Racism is nothing new
Police are often brutal to blacks, there’s been no breakthrough
George Floyd’s death is a horrific reminder
That some Americans are still seen as the outsider

These deaths should not be glorified, or shoved aside
George Floyd was a large black American man
Targeted because the police think they can  
Floyd’s intentions were not defined by the colour of his skin
So why was he treated like he was a sin? 

Why did the police officers shatter his soul?
Was it out of fear or disgust? 
Or was Floyd’s blackness just too much to bear?
Why can’t you see?
All we’re asking for is equality!

America has always been toxic to people of colour
You say that there is progress for black communities
Yet you limit us from so many opportunities

From slavery to lynching, racism has always been around
Throughout centuries in many cities and towns

From generation to generation, we have experienced oppression
Discrimination and humiliation
Is this what we still are as a nation?

There have been countless prejudices associated with blacks
Such as our ‘violent nature’ – we’re always under attack
How can you distinguish between what’s false and true? 
If everything is written in your supremacist view?

We are fed up of hearing about more black people dying
And seeing so many families crying
We are fed up of receiving looks of disgrace
The ignorance we regularly face
We are fed up of being fearful of police
Those who are meant to maintain the peace

Instead we still have to fight and protest 
Because of this static, systemic disorder
When will we be fully treated as an equal?
Instead of just second-class people
Don’t let ruthlessness make our society fall
We are each of us human beings, after all.