George Floyd Mural

Photo by munshots on Unsplash


in pandemic times we learn

that breath is everything

look what we risk to keep it

flowing in and out of lungs

to feel it cool the nostrils

to feel the breastbone rise

to trust how it finds its way

and feeds the blood


in pandemic times we see

how the world goes to work

for a simple breath

giving up livelihoods, bringing

children home from schools

to protect this elementary act

see the nurses in shields like

warriors, see mask-makers at

their sewing machines intent

over scraps of fabric, see factories

retool to make machines that push

air through our windpipes so we can

sing the song of life, see distilleries

turn spirits into sanitizer to make

our hands clean, but our hands


are not clean, Mister Floyd

because of the other virus

the contaminant which is

our pre-existing condition and

causes us to step away from

each other for centuries


now your town is on fire and

you lie still on the pavement

see how our tears fall on our masks

see how our masks fall from our faces

see the fabric unravel, Mister Floyd

rise please rise like this smoke

do not refuse to haunt us or

how will we remember what

we learn and forget

breath is not cheap


Kate Tucker


5 thoughts on “DEAR MISTER FLOYD    

  1. Lorna H Kuyk

    Thanks for posting this, Marion. It is so well and evocatively said. Sarah’s comment increases my shame. While I live in a minority majority state (New Mexico) and I know better, I don’t really think a lot about race or privilege or my complicity. I just obliviously go along until something or someone calls my attention to the inequities and for a time do think, do respond, do act and then, and then, I inevitably revert. May I do better in memory of the thousands of Mr. Floyds–may we do better until all breathe freely .

  2. sarahsbookreflections

    Thanks for sharing this, Marion. I don’t know about you, but I look back in shame at all the ways I’ve been complacent in thinking we’ve become a nation of equals, knowing in my heart of hearts that has not been so. Not for black people or Native Americans or Latinos or any other race/ethnic population. May we strive to do better.

  3. sallyriley

    This is very powerful … due in large part to the touching images you’ve used. And the request: “do not refuse to haunt us…” Thank you, Marion.


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