A Psalm of Protest in Memory of George Floyd

1 min read

God, who gave us strong backs, 
why are you breaking them? 

Challenge meets challenge, 
meets hard place,
meets rock.

The lucky ones breathe through each trial, 
breath after breath, 
inhale and out.

The unlucky ones breathe labored –
ventilators and illness,
poverty and hate.
Or they have their breath stolen,
choking on 400 years of outrage.

A psalm of protest, God, 
for challenge upon challenge, 
upon hard place, 
upon rock. 

A psalm of lamentation
 for injustice hanging
 on the filthy laundry line of history, 
weighed down by complacency, complicity, 
and callous comfort 
with the what-is of our lives.

Grant us unflinching eyes 
that pierce veils 
of untruths and delusions. 
Circumcise our hearts 
to embrace self-sacrifice, 
to learn new dance-steps 
as old as time, 
to dig into our pocketbooks 
and move our feet on right paths,
to do the hard labor of loving-
kindness and justice.

You who are Spirit and Breath of Life, 
fill us with breath and fearless grit. 
Take us, tired and poor as we are, 
huddled masses yearning, 
that we may, in our time, in our lifetimes, glimpse 
that teeming shore and call it Holy,
hail it Just, and name it Love,

a psalm of hope
like catching a breeze
or glimpsing daybreak
in hell.


DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Pamela Wax is a rabbi/poet/social justice activist/student and teacher of Mussar. She serves as the Spiritual Care Coordinator at Westchester Jewish Community Services in White Plains, NY where she runs a spiritual healing center. She lives in the Bronx, NY and in North Adams, MA.

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