Read the Vietnamese version here: Mẹ ơi


This poem was written on May 25th, 2020 and finalized on June 2nd, 2020. 
This poem is not intended to glorify or demonize any individual or corporation. The author is not associated to any individual or organization, and this piece of writing does not express the author's view on the resulting political and social events.
The author's intention is only to tell a story of a man who was blatantly murdered on the street. 
This poem is dedicated to George Floyd, whose life was ruthlessly taken away under the knee of the enforcer, and those who rights are trampled under the knee of racism.
Speak His Name (Drawn by Shane Gillen)


Mama, what have I done?
Knee on my neck, life taken away
Mama, what have I done?
My breath perishes , no words stay

Mama, I ain't doing nothing wrong, never
There ain't no restrictions, no clashes
Mama, now I leave our home forever
My body, now returns to our family, ashes

Mama, I went downtown after-noon
To the shop, I ain't wander
Take a pack, fly me to the moon
Thinking about you, eager

Someone, looking unfamiliar
Not the manager whom I've greeted with appreciation
Looking at me, like a hustler
He called the cops, without a second consideration

In the car, I was so afraid
Of the courts, the jails, the bars
Of you thinking I might've gone astray
Of the guns, the uniforms, the cars

Then the vehicle of executives arrived
Looking at me, they called me a deceiver
My soul weighed down with sorrow, I nearly cried
Mama, I really never wanted this, either

The question mark, lingering above my head
Gun pointing at my forehead, my body tossed to the ground
My hands were cuffed, no words said
I let myself seized, no one around

Some sirens echoing from afar
Police, two different guys inside
Door opened, they came outta the car
Looking at me, his eyes opened wide

Chauvin! This must be fate!
We once worked together, remember?
The nightclub job was quite adequate
Now I'm still searching for an employer

Words not yet spoken, knee on the neck
Back held tight, it hurt like a train wreck
My body, crushed in the bottleneck
They were treating me like a dust speck

"It’s my face man.
Man, I can't breathe!"
They were crushing me like a can
My stomach. My neck. My knee.
"Everything hurts."

They kept on pressing, choking, and crushing
Crushing each heartbeat that maintains a life
Stabbing each dream of a kid with a knife
Breaking a person apart and watching him die

The day I cried in your arms, I still remember
You fell asleep for eternity, leaving me forever 
Now I walk slowly, please take me with you
There we will hear your stories together
No one between us two

Nine infinitesimal minutes seemed so infinite
Our house so close yet seemed so distant
My death, so unfortunate
My life, so irrelevant

I desperately screamed in tears
"Get off him now!", people screamed in disgust
I came up to the surface with hope, then drowned in fear
There are still people whose minds are just
They will be fighting for my justice

I can't breathe.
I can't...

(June 2nd, 2020)