Mourners and Protesters
in memory of George Floyd

My spirit grows weary
watching mourners and protesters.

Mourners weep and remember
a man they knew and loved.

Protesters mourn a man
they did not know.

All felt his loss,
and they expressed their loss

to God and a country unconcerned.
They marched to let God and country know

their pain and unwillingness to lose him
in red tape and bad excuses.

So many lives lost, not deemed significant
enough to appear in books,

but on occassion referenced
as side notes in fine print.

Did police officers think that stopping
this man’s breath would silence him?

Did they think God would not hear him?
Or did they actually believe

their blue uniforms, weapons and badges
would justify their crimes?


41 Bullets

Over the years, I still think
of a young African immigrant
who moved to New York’s Bronx.

It was before many of today’s
protesters were born.
It was February, 1999

when this man, Amadou Diallo,
was shot to death by four white
plainsclothes police officers.

They shot at him 41 times,
but only 19 bullets found
their way into his body.

41 bullets!
What were they aiming for?
His soul?

Were they concerned his soul
would reach heaven
and reveal their crime?

Their crime was so horrific
that even now, it is enough
to simply type the words

Police shot a black man
41 times!

onto a keyboard.


Janet Cormier wrote her first Bamboozled No More! column six years ago on the day of Juneteenth. Her column has since appeared weekly on Oddball Magazine.