And I Can’t Breathe

[I have absolutely no business writing this. I am an older (some might even say elderly) white woman born and raised in the Deep South. I have written nothing for weeks. Today, as I listened to the news, my mind started reciting this. I wrote it down as it came to me – even though I cringe at assuming the voice of my black brothers and sisters.]

You’re kneeling on my back
While I’m picking your cotton
And
I can’t breathe

You’re kneeling on my hand
While I’m trying to vote
And
I can’t breathe

You’re kneeling on my foot
While I’m trying to enlist
And
I can’t breathe

You’re kneeling on my mind
While I’m trying to learn
And
I can’t breathe

You’re kneeling on my chest
While I’m trying to earn
And
I can’t breathe

You’re kneeling on my neck
While I’m trying to plead
And
I can’t breathe

Help me, mama
Please
The white man won’t
And
I can’t breathe

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