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          for the mother of George Floyd

Someone kneeled on the neck
of a man, and now the man
is gone. It's an old story, flesh
muscling into flesh, the slim pipe
of the trachea opening a little
so hardly anything gets in or out,
but what does manage to escape
is his dead mother's name.

I'm "Mom" to my sons, and I want
to be a good one. They're white,
but kind, and the young one
doesn't understand, but his brother
begins to, and so I beg them both,
the way all mothers should,
for George's mom, whose name
I can't find, but whom we all know

as "Momma"—for Momma, please,
be a witness. Be a witness.