Another Black Floyd

Linda Floyd was born in Mississippi 62 years ago, and now lives in Oregon. She shares the family name of George Floyd and wrote this piece in pain shortly after his death.

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George, I don’t know how many of us are here
who share your Texas line
of long chocolate bodies
who can dance on and off the court
with a smile that warms the heart
how many share my Mississippi roots
with light skin and blonde curls
who prefer their mustards without meat, their tea without sweet
because none of these traits matter George

as no shared DNA is needed
to make you kin, and call you ‘Bro

because I, too, am a Floyd
and I gasp again and again
with a heavy and sad heart
when I hear your call for Mama
while you begged that man not to silence your voice, your 
breath, your
spirit with his knee
George, I am back now where I came from
scared and angry and filled up
seeing images of our people
hanging from a tree
dragged by a car
beaten with a whip
all with tied hands
begging for one more breath
that didn’t come
for they were just like us, George, born black, given the 
same name

I can’t cry anymore
and won’t gasp anymore
Mama I can’t breathe.

Linda Floyd was born in Mississippi 62 years ago, and now lives in Oregon. She shares the family name of George Floyd and wrote this piece in pain shortly after his death.