Verbal Photography – Inspiring Conversations


I can’t breathe

I can’t breathe!!

I too have dreams,
But, oh God,

I can’t breathe!

I am an entrepreneur,
a child and a father.

I am a soldier,

an officer and a gentleman.
I am a teacher, a nurse and doctor.

I am a fireman and a scientist.

I serve my country;
So Father, Father;

Why can’t I breathe?

Can you not hear the prayers?

Can you not see the anguish

fighting for air?

I am a gardener,

I am captains of industry.
I am student, a professor and mentor.
I hold bachelors, masters, and PhDs.

I am an alumnus of Ivy Leagues.

I am a drop-out.
I am reverend and writer.
I am a politician,

a model and fashionista too
so why, dear God

I just can’t seem to breathe?

Have you heard those fading whispers

of burdened gasps for air

when familiar aspirations are suffocated?

Must I prostrate my dignity

in streets choked with burning indifference?

Must I forsake dreams of equality;

offer up more of the fallen,

and scream violently for attention
To show you, Dear God

I have no air…

I really can’t breathe?

I belong.

I own homes here.

I protect and serve.

I carry prosperity on my undressed backs.

I believe in the dream.

I trust in justice.

I uphold the law.

So why, why

Dear God…

I still can’t breathe?

I see children’s dream extinguished.

I see youngsters judged for the colour that clothes their lives.

They dare not stroll unfamiliar streets;

wear hoods to protect their faces from the cold.
They’d better not drive expensive cars; wear Rolex or Patek Phillipe; dress uppity or seem too smart.

Can you not hear them?

I pray you listen carefully,

Oh God…

For like me,

They too can’t breathe!


18 thoughts on “I can’t breathe”

  1. That poem speaks for millions of people so eloquently, Kevin. Not much more can be said on the agonisingly painful subject of racial indignity and abuse, and the appalling events of this past week In Minneapolis. May your noble words be part of the catalyst of a new age of peace, dignity and security for all races and creeds of our world.

    1. Thanks for your contribution to the cause of justice, for we are all one, injustice to one is injustice to all

  2. Charlene Bowry

    Wow! We too are human beings and deserve to be treated with dignity as any other person.
    Beautifully expressed through your poetry. Another masterpiece!

  3. Thank you for speaking up about these burning issues through your poetry. My heart bleeds when I see the injustices perpetrated against our black race. #togetherweoughttostandasone

  4. Kevin, your poems continue to touch the hearts and minds of those who read them, and stir them to greater vision and a determination to do all we can to meet so many needs!
    Thank you.

  5. I also cried as I read this poem. It’s been a few days now since Mr. Floyd’s killing, and I’ve read a lot of analyses about the murder, but these words seemed to bring it all together😞

  6. Profound! Moving expression on the realities we face as a race. It really disturbs me that still…we can’t breathe!

  7. Sebastian Moonjely

    Wow!! What can I say. It’s so beautiful and a prayer so eloquent. Simply superb!! and so telling. In my view, it should be made into an anthem to call people to rise and make this a huge and unstoppable movement against the sheer injustices on our brothers. It can be just the beacon required to open the eyes of the powers that be, to ensure ‘we can breathe’. Is this what we call progress of humankind? May you continue to pen such verses which are topical, touch a sensitive chord and be the catalyst to a peaceful movement to make the world a better place.

  8. Echoing the dying words of Brother George–as in George Floyd–“I Can’t Breathe”, I thank you most sincerely for expressing so poetically, and with such pathos and power, the cry of far too many of us and for far too long, that African or Black lives still don’t matter.

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