By Antwon Holcomb, U.S. Penitentiary Hazelton, West Virginia
I remember waking up to the news of George Floyd,
murdered by the police.
I immediately felt cold:
Not cold like ice;
it was a cold that burned.
Words thundered in my head:
If life is so precious, why do those who are supposed to protect it,
teat it as if it has no value?
I can’t escape from under the dark cloud,
now hanging over my head,
impossible to ignore.
I stare it down, shouting,
BUT I CARE!
George Floyd’s spirit will forever burn within my chest.
I just wish I could’ve been there to give him the breath
he struggled to take in,
when the officer kneed his neck.
And while we are talking about knees:
The world needs more Kaepernicks.
He sacrificed his career to shine his celebrity light
I wish I could’ve been on the football field,
to tell him I understand what his protest means.
Instead, he was blackballed by all 32 teams.
Sure, Americans are talking now.
But they can never feel my people’s pain.
We were hunted down like prey,
chained together in boats while riding the ocean’s waves.
Brought to foreign land and put to work.
Why is America talking now?
They forget my ancestors were covered with their dirt.
Now, after watching a Black man die,
after repeatedly yelling I can’t breathe,
they think they have the right
to tell my people what we need.
Are y’all serious?
Are y’all for real?
Maybe my people need to put America
in a chokehold,
so they can see how it feels.