The Trees on Tuesdays, 2 pm

The trees, the trees
Focus on the trees
It’s Tuesday, 2pm.
There is no forest.
Only trees.

Type. Work.
Complete the forms.
Silence these thoughts
They don’t pay you to
Allow your mind
To wander in the forest.
There is no forest.
Only trees.


Just calm down and breathe
Be grateful
Not everyone can breathe.

How many have we now lost,
Air hungry, prone position, all alone
Beneath cold, florescent lights
Surrounded by strangers
With masked faces?
Does the virus leave them time
To realize they’ve been robbed
Of the chance to die old, warm
Surrounded by loved ones?
Not as a statistic,
But with humanity?

Betrayed for silver
So many lives sold
To save the economy
Human sacrifices to
The Gods of Wall Street
In hopes they will make it rain.


Breathe and be grateful
That you’re not being
Violently deprived of oxygen
Neck crushed beneath a knee.

We all saw him
Crying out for help, for mercy
While the witnesses grew nauseous
Restricted from acting
On their instinctual drive
To save his life
By Blue Lives,
Blue Lives who must have
Sold their own humanity
Sometime long ago.
Empty, they controlled the crowd
Confused, wondering
“Why can’t they just
Breathe, calm down
And let us do our job?”

Their victim cried out for his mama,
The woman whose heartbeat
Was the soundtrack
For his earliest human experience
A soothing melody, warm in her arms.
A place where he was safe in his dark skin.
A place where he was free
To breathe.

When he called out her name,
When his voice, his soul,
Reached their ears
Did they wonder
Who or what it was
They had vowed to
Serve and protect?
Did any piece of humanity
Awaken in their hearts?
Did he even momentarily
Consider lifting his knee
From his victim’s neck?

A distraction.

A luxury not permitted
On Tuesday at 2pm.
This is not your time to waste.


Be grateful you can work.
How many are now unemployed?
Quarantined, insecure at home
Behind on rent
Knowing their landlord,
Stripped of humanity,
Plans to throw them out
As soon as he is free
To evict his tenants again?


Free time can be used for feelings
There is too much at stake
You cannot eat
Your children cannot eat
Until you deserve it,
Until you earn it
Until you learn
To ignore the reverberating pain around you
To stop crying at your desk
To smother your screaming humanity


They don’t pay you to
Allow your mind
To wander in the forest.
There is no forest.
Only trees.

Focus on the trees.