the game

Watching the Game – by Devan Burton

America for me
is having black conversations
with white friends.
When asked
why million dollar football players
I thought of
and the Minnesota gentleman
who had as much right to carry a gun
as he did to drive.

I cannot see
the soldiers my friend
—the medic in Iraq—tried
to save.
I do not know the sound the flag
made when it fell upon each coffin.
We’ve had dialogue before,
leaving us wiser,
possessing more insight
into each other’s race.

The following week,
we studied defensive schemes
towns apart.

Image credit: Children hugging (The Healing Universe); scripture verse added— ‘The Bible is more than information, it is intervention’ (a quote from Pastor Erwin Lutzer heard on a radio broadcast June 14, 2020)

Editor’s Note:

On November 22, 2014, Tamir Rice, a 12-year old African-American boy, was killed in Cleveland, Ohio by Timothy Loehmann, a 26-year-old police officer. Rice was carrying a replica toy Airsoft gun; Loehmann shot him almost immediately after arriving on the scene.,after%20arriving%20on%20the%20scene

On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown Jr., an 18-year-old black man, was fatally shot by 28-year-old white Ferguson police officer.

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill. Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, knelt on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down in the street, begging for his life and repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe.”

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One thought on “Watching the Game – by Devan Burton”

  1. Thank you for this thought-provoking poem. I crave more of the conversations you allude to.

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