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They Tried

Updated: Apr 18

By Deborah Mortimer.

Written in response to the George Floyd killing.

They tried,

But the tree branch wasn’t high enough,

And the rope was just too weak

Still they tried

And strung us up

Yet we refused to succumb

To the yank

To the hold

To the gun

To the knee

That attempted to rob us of our breath.

They tried...

With our hands




or tied.

They tried...

To lift us from the ground

With feet grasping for the earth,

Or push us down

With arms grasping for the sky

As we called out for the Ancestors or...

...Our Mama

They tried...

But they didn’t know that once our feet were lifted, we could and would just fly away


Once pressed in the ground, we would merely become one with the land,

Changing its make up,

Scorching the roots for a rebirth

So that new seeds can be planted and grown.

And they’ll try again...

But the tree sprung from this new earth will be too tall to reach,

And the rope much too hard to bend.

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