I Wish I Didn’t Know Who George Floyd Was

During Lent, we take time to slow down and notice the ways in which our personal and collective sin has birthed death within us. This Lent we are asking, “How might our lamenting over loss and injustice lead us to the liberative future of shalom God promises us? What wisdom do those on the margins have that can help us envision a hope for liberation, even while we lament the current state of things?” Today’s post features a poem of lament titled “Image” by Michael Stalcup.



I wish I didn’t know who George Floyd was,
had never heard his name or seen his face
displayed on screens or blazoned on brick walls,
unbreathing monuments to life erased.

I wish that George was playing with his daughter,
unknown to all the world, lost in her eyes.
I think of all the things he would have taught her,
their lives unshattered and unscrutinized.

Instead, the whole world watched a white man kneel
upon her father’s neck until he died.
My God! What do we do? How do we heal
this hell of hashtags hewn from priceless lives?

Today, Lord, help us mourn for George and feel
the richness of the years he was denied.

Michael Stalcup is a Thai-American poet living in Bangkok, Thailand. His poems have been published in CommonwealRed Letter ChristiansSojourners, and elsewhere. He co-teaches Spirit & Scribe, a workshop helping writers to integrate spiritual formation and writing craft. Find more of his work at michaelstalcup.com and on Instagram @michaelstalcup.

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