Beckett: Poetry – No. 1992, I Can’t Breathe

For George Floyd.

As a person of colour, I’ve grown up with racism. But responding to unnecessary death and violence with more unnecessary death and violence is idiotic and cowardly. Speak up. Let your voice be heard, but nobody can hear you while you’re beating them to death and burning down their way of living. My dear Black brothers and sisters, we have the right to speak up, but we do not have the right to violence.

Cowardice riots a city
rather than peacefully protesting.
How does hurting the innocent
and burning down businesses
ever solve anything?

Yes, we must be angry
and we must speak up,
but the coward resorts to violence
because war is easier than peace.
Hate is easier than love.

Lift up your voices against injustice,
but lift not your fist in violence;
for crime will not bring necessary change.
Let peaceful dialogue bring justice
with Christ the Unifier in the centre.

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