black and white photo of a heart shaped rock sitting on a grate with delicate white flowers
Memorial for George Floyd by Karen Elias (USA), Contemporary

–Spring 2020


Cracked, gray-gone-dead:

the stone-cold heart pinned

by the pale blooms of buds

in this city that fences out

cherry blossoms and peace—

rubber bullets, pepper balls, smoke bombs,

all the unconstrained and uncalled for

on parade to a photo op across Layfette Square

(its border street now renamed in bright caution yellow)—

to St. John’s Episcopal where the everyday horror of now

is colorfully on display in black and white: the charade

of posing for the political gone viral, the reality (not virtual)

of knees, necks, nooses, chains, chain-links fencing out/fencing in,

not again but still

Or is it a bridge—narrow, grated—

not beside still waters but over

the teeming, the troubled;

waves of multitudes crossing

the deadly current not to the old

promised land of denial but

to this other side,

rocky but reclaimed—

vast, expansive, unending—

ready to till, to sow, to harvest,

even now the faint scent

of grave-strewn blossoms

beginning to resurrect

the morning breeze.