To Breathe – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: George Floyd – New York Times

dVerse Poets – Open Link Night

Grace at dVerse is hosting Open Link Night where we post a poem of our own choice. My choice has been influenced by the poems Grace posted as a reflection on the protests and Floyd’s death. So, I’m reblogging an earlier OLN poem about George Floyd that I wrote in the moment of grief having watched the video of his murder. Still can’t get it out of my mind, can’t erase the anger I feel of the injustice to him, and sadly, for so many.

"I can't breathe." George Floyd

To Breathe

The tissue of life is delicately thin,
especially when the protectors grin,
arraigned with a knee and
pinned to the ground,
he couldn't breathe;
no judge, no jury,
they refused his cry,
the man needed air,
he was guilty without sin, 
they murdered George Floyd
with a dirty white lie, and
since the moment he stopped,
I have struggled to breathe.

©Paul Vincent Cannon


Filed under death, Free Verse, grief, life, poem, quote, Racism

42 responses to “To Breathe – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

  1. Beautifully written, Paul.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Powerful and beautifully penned. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Beverly Crawford

    I share your inability to get the picture out of my mind. The horrific act was bad enough, but the officer standing by compounded it, leaving me astounded that there are those who consider life of so little value, and that those few besmirch the honesty and integrity of a legion of good cops fills me with anger along with incredible sadness for my black brothers and sisters who endure such injustice over and over again.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Powerful. Sadness isn’t enough to express my thoughts. Disgust, horror; your expression of your reaction is apt.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Very sad. Poem is good though. Life today when so much hasn’t changed.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I concur with the comments of your other readers. The anger and grief is suffocating.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Sad, but very good, I am going to reblog this one for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A very moving poem. We all struggle to breathe now. Thanks for sharing this powerful poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Very fitting, very moving. That image seems seared on my retinas and I have no words just now.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I, too, struggle to breathe. Isn’t it ironic that the coronavirus pandemic that assails the world makes it difficult for the infected to breathe?
    Thanks for your shared humanity ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Helen Dehner

    Thank you for posting a second time … that image, his voice, the sheer terror he must have felt. Horrific.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Charis Counselling

    Powerful before and equally powerful and emotive this time


    Liked by 1 person

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