I pin George Floyd
on you, on us
on our collective
that allowed
the traditional
racial violence
invested in the creation
of our union
to remain systemic
through a thousand
amendment and
software updates.

How we carried
our victim trauma
and torture-fears from
seventeenth century Europe
to the New World
to our town hall meetings
to our first interactions
with those who
held the land before us
and those we stole
away from their homes.

Oh, the hypocrisy.
Declaring three-fifths a man
those with different color skin
upon the establishment
of our founding documents
and declaration
of all men being equal.

We owe George Floyd
and all who we have harmed
two-fifths of our
two and a half centuries
of prosperity
to be expended
in balancing justice’s scales
through reparations
as if we were on the ninth step
of a twelve step program
to free ourselves
from unqualified fears
and exploitation addictions.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


Your hatred for me
turns biblical in proportion,
a failed twelve-step tragedy
I knew was possible,
likely even,
but I hoped…

as I now hope
your middle finger
projects a fierceness
that may point you
toward survival
since you choose
to go it alone.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney