Our country is reeling from systematic police violence against Black Americans. The recent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of a police officer— who put a knee on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes— has ignited a fire of protest. This is a new version of a poem I wrote several years ago.
That hatred you have for everyone,
that global anger,
it doesn’t matter how justified you are,
or how wrong the other person is.
You can fume and cuss and scream,
complain and blame,
but it’s just going to eat you alive.
You can get upset with me
for speaking this way,
give me the cold stare,
and refuse to talk to me,
but it won’t change a thing.
©1998 Steven Barto