by: Pastor Gregory Johnson

It’s hard for me to breathe sometimes
When people look at me
Judge me, value me,
Based upon the color of my skin
As if my color or theirs
Suggests, what is good or bad
Success or failure
Or likelihood to win

It’s hard for me to breathe sometimes
When so many say the right thing
Declare they care
Announce their concern
Suggest they are compassionate
But then fling

Cast my liberty
Throw my rights
Lob my freedom
While telling me what to say
Cheering my independence
As long as I agree with them

I’m not sure what has happened.
I just see it everyday
Kids that are dying
Children that are crying
Dreams crushed
Necks squashed
Not able to catch air
Because nothing real is there

Needles and pipes
Leaves and flames
Dragging me, drugging me
Tearing me again and again
Just a box to show themselves

Just a platform to state with pride
“I did my part, I tried”
Even when they’ve done nothing but play games
While they for their own purposes seek fame

It’s hard for me to breathe sometimes
Because I do not know who to trust
Politicians, who promise, to get my vote
Others who clamor because they saw me choke
Protected by their guarded gates
No true commitment to change the state

It’s hard for me to breathe sometimes
When I see who has already died
Even if you want to put Mr. Floyd, or my sovereignty aside
He can’t hide, I can’t hide
We’re Black, so decide what you want to do
To ignore me is to haunt you. And then hurt you

It’s hard for me to breathe sometimes
Especially when you are standing on my neck
Trying to make me break
Pushing me, shoving me, hitting me to forsake
But I’m still awake
Awake because of George,
Awake from those who forged,
A place for me, a time for me,
Gods plan for me, to rise, to breathe, to be