Breathless (Fight to correct)
The awful news takes our breath
away and after a long pause it returns
as a troubled sigh.
We all wait breathlessly for the decision
by those in control, those who have the facts,
the sordid details of the sad incident.
The seemingly unfair and racially biased
judgment knocks the breath out of the waiting
crowds, the nation, like a blow to the stomach.
Demonstrators and rioters are pushed back
by armed forces using tear gas that makes it
difficult to breathe, to voice their cries.
The profiling attitude of the officer led him
to react without thinking, or taking a breath
to consider the accuracy of his assumptions
a breath or two to think about the source
of his fear and anger, or to reassess his
degree of force used.
He took away the breath of his suspect,
his breathless questioning, his breathless
pleas, his gasping fear for his life.
He took his breath away: Forever.
The act exposed a deep abnormality,
a shamefully persistent widespread attitude
that we all must work to correct.
Fight to correct:
to our last breath.
[Bill is an occasional writer who lives in the Midwest and is often outraged by events such as this. ]