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Monday, December 15, 2014


by George Held

            “I can’t breathe.”
                        Repeated last words of Eric Garner, police victim

Like Fate’s arbiters,
Cops crush the breath
of those they oppress,
let the rich breathe easy;

Hawaiians couldn’t
smell the breath
of standoffish whites,

(men without breath),
distrusting those whose
withheld breath might stink of

If you are rich
or white and can breathe
easy these days,
you should shun

city streets, TV news,
and poems that can
take your breath

George Held, a regular contributor to The New Verse News, has a new book out from Poets Wear Prada, Culling: New & Selected Nature Poems.