Reflections on a Silent Vigil: What We Stand For/Nine Minutes

June 3, 2020 life

As I stand here
with my neighbors,
my brothers and my sisters,
we stand in silent witness
to a status quo
which we can no longer
accept or tolerate.

Standing in silence,
my heart opens
to the pain we all share,
and the compassion
that we may share as well,
if we are resolute
in our intention for change.

Standing here,
I am reminded
that I am a member
of the human race,
and hiding
is no longer an option.

My aging body
said it could not kneel
for a whole nine minutes,
but I asked it to, and it did.

“Now you know
what nine minutes feels like”,
a fellow next to us said,
as I remembered George Floyd,
who had no choice
about how he spent
his last nine minutes.