Drops of Color/ I Can’t Breathe

Drops of Color

I Can’t Breathe…

As I write these three words,
I keep hearing the sounds of 
the hammer driving three
nails into the flesh of an
innocent man.

I hang my head—my lament so raw.
Unraveling the words, my white, feminine flesh
spills black ink from a pen.
I do not know how to
frame the cry within me, choking me.
I must write, but what?

I sought the words of a Dreamer…

“…Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
     Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain Tennessee.
     Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
     From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

    And when this happens, and when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it
    ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city,
    we will be able to speed up that day when ALL of God’s children, black
    and white, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to
    join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

    Free at last!  Free at last!

    Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

                                                                                                                                                                                             ~~~Martin Luther King, Jr.
                                                                                                                                                                                              28th August 1963

I wish to sing, but my tears flood my
wind pipe…I’m choking.
Mr. Floyd, the simplicity of my words
are an attempt to BREATHE for you.

Was this your life’s purpose…to ignite a flame?
Your purpose so much more!
Across the country, from Minneapolis, to Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Illinois, Utah and—
cries are heard.

Systemic shifts are caving in
amidst a pandemic.
Lives are being lost.
The Earth is quaking.

Will we all perish in our inability
to see we’re all FREE…we are all created equal?

God Almighty, how you weep now with us.

  You breathed life into the dust of this landscape, brown soils, creating humankind…
my heart is not able to reckon what we are
living in NOW
this was/is not a part of your Design.

Come to our assistance—
Come, if ONLY, to embrace our sorrows.
Let us sit for a while in these ashes.
Let us bathe in the folly of all 
our unknowing.

May the loss of George Floyd’s life simply not be a moment we look back upon and ‘recall’.

Let freedom ring
and ring
and ring
until God Almighty we are all Free at last.

I pray my ‘eyes’ behold the Dream Come True
before I take my last breath.

Forgive me while I still breathe.
I cannot keep silent.

2 replies
  1. Ann Pawlik
    Ann Pawlik says:

    THIS is what I have been waiting for, my dear Sandy,…a response, in your very gifted way, of the events that have transpired since May 25th. Every day I am following the events going on worldwide. I particularly pay attention to my own community of Schenectady and was so pleased to see a peaceful protest livestreamed on Sunday. The mayor issued a curfew for safety’s sake, as we had a preview of what could happen the night before in downtown Albany. The curfew was lifted the next day as Schenectady had no rioting/looting. Thanks be to God! I am particularly concerned with downtown Albany. Nightly incidents continue after peaceful protesting during the day. I have two former students who are Albany police officers. Both are black men. One,in particular, has faced rocks being thrown at him, firecrackers being set off in front of him, racial slurs being hurled at him because he is a black cop, and yet he perseveres in courage and with dignity. But I can see, through his posting on facebook, that he is tired and scared and I pray for him daily. My other former student is fairly new to the force. I check in with him daily and pray for him, too, but I don’t “hear” the stuggle in his postings as I do in the other’s. Both concern me.One has been on the force for 12 years, the other for a few months. They know each other very well from “way back.”
    And then there are my own “little men,” my grandsons who are both biracial. I pray to God that we continue to work for change so they will not feel or experience what is going on in their early years and days. One is 3, the other 1 month old. But let’s face facts: this is not a present day issue; it has been ongoing for hundreds of years. And yes, even two thousand years ago, as another innocent man died on the cross. “Can I have some water,” begs George Floyd. “I thirst,” says Jesus.
    I hope, as do you, that things will change in my lifetime. I hope I have enough breath in me, to breathe in the spirit of George Floyd and numerous others who have been “convicted” to death without benefit of justice,…convicted in the heat of the moment. And I pray I have enough breath in me to be a part of the change many of us long for, particularly for two “little men” who have my heart.
    As always, beautiful sketch and words of wisdom,…thank you, dear Sandy.

    • Sandy
      Sandy says:

      YOUR words, EACH one, ‘Ring True’…
      I HEAR you and am so blessed to walk beside you…even from our distance!
      You could not be nearer to my heart…
      Be safe, be well and keep LOVING!!!
      Love & prayers,


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