I can’t breathe

Art: Pakistani truck artist Haider Ali

I can’t breathe
Said the raindrops to the cloud
And she released them
Into a downpour of
Life-giving water
A manifestation of
Divine Mercy

I can’t breathe
Said the seedling to the earth
And she made way
As the seedling pushed
Against her crushing weight
To emerge into a sunlit world
A manifestation of
Divine Beauty

I can’t breathe
Cried the black man
In agony
Pinned to the ground
Restrained by ruthless white men
Centuries of injustice
Powering that knee
Ignoring the pleas for mercy
And basic humanity
Then after an eternity
And the soul has left the body
Erupts cries of anguish and agony
And demands for justice
But who will listen? Who will hear?

Privilege and power
Have sealed the hearts
And now, only the voice of an oppressed people
Will rise above the heavens
And the Divine edict
Will be proclaimed
And shame and ignominy
Will come upon those
Whose hearts have turned to stone
And dignity and honour will be restored once again.