A Protestor Takes A Knee

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For George Floyd

What is to give light must endure
burning, a man once said
Other men became the matchstick
that set a nation aflame

But fire, and its appetite, cannot be
calculated, like freedom
Injustice and desperation make men
combustible, like dry wood

When words lose their meaning
and an entire people their voice –
so they can neither scream nor dream –
death and life begin to taste the same

From Minneapolis, to DC, to 30 cities, nationwide
the light from a burning fire proved catching
And those with nothing to lose, or offer, but bodies
fanned the embers of their hopes into a blazing nightmare.

Yahia Lababidi


Photo by Dai Sugano - San Jose, Calif. May 29, 2020‬ — A protester takes a knee during a protest, after George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis who kneeled on his neck.