Discussion Fuel Poetry Politics

#breath

How can we breathe
With your knee on our necks

How can we run
With your sights on our backs

How can we rest
With your boots in our homes

We can’t grow older
The ink gets colder
And they become bolder

Tears enough to drown a nation
But not enough
To fill that basin
Called compassion
For those that think themselves
Up on a higher station

Born with a target
Always seen as a threat
Working twice as hard
Just so that we can get
Half the dream
It’s all routine
Yeah, all part of the plan
Here lies a statistic
Where there once stood a man

Don’t call it racism
No, they don’t like that word
Here in 2020
We’re all free as the birds
Everybody now
We can all spread our wings
That’s right, use that voice
But only if you’re gonna make
The choice
To just say nice things

They say, “Keep your eyes down
That’s right, kids
No need to look
All that violence and hate
It’s tucked away safe
In our history books
When you see something bad
Just change that channel
Repeat after me
Politics have no place
In a comic book panel”

All those struggles
They talk about only in past tense
We say we’re still fighting
They act like we don’t have no sense
To judge for ourselves
How far
That we still need to go
They say that’s enough for now
We’re gonna let you know
When we feel like
Letting you get closer to equal
We’ve had one Civil Rights Act
No need for a sequel

You tell us it’s a choice
Between the black and blue
We say our lives matter
You come back with, “Blue ones too”
But you don’t stop and think
About how it’s a matter of power
When will the time come
Tell us the minute and hour
When you’re ready
To open up your eyes
You sure look close
For a good reason why
An unarmed man deserved to die

You say don’t resist
You tell us you shouldn’t run
But who has control
When you’ve got the badge and a gun
Tell us how it can be
That when you’re scared
We’re the ones who got to suffer
You think you’re the only one
With a father and mother?

What’s the worst
That could happen
Why are you so scared
Of what comes out of our mouths
So sorry to darken your day
With all of these clouds

No, wait
It’s actually smoke
You’re gonna listen now
It’s your turn to choke
So while you complain
About what’s burnt and broke
About how woke is too woke
You sit and whine
About all these things with a price tag
This is the cost
Of turning a life
Into just another hashtag

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