Becketwood Cooperative
An Active, Independent 55+ Community of Owners in Minneapolis

Dear Mister Floyd

by Kate Tucker, Becketwood Member


in pandemic times we learn
that breath is everything
look what we risk to keep it
flowing in and out of lungs
to feel it cool the nostrils
to feel the breastbone rise
to trust how it finds its way
and feeds the blood

in pandemic times we see
how the world goes to work
for a simple breath
giving up livelihoods, bringing
children home from schools
to protect this elementary act
see the nurses in shields like
warriors, see mask-makers at
their sewing machines intent
over scraps of fabric, see factories
retool to make machines that push
air through our windpipes so we can
sing the song of life, see distilleries
turn spirits into sanitizer to make
our hands clean, but our hands

are not clean, Mister Floyd
because of the other virus
the contaminant which is
our pre-existing condition and
causes us to step away from
each other for centuries

now your town is on fire and
you lie still on the pavement
see how our tears fall on our masks
see how our masks fall from our faces
see the fabric unravel, Mister Floyd
rise please rise like this smoke
do not refuse to haunt us or
how will we remember what
we learn and forget

breath is not cheap

Leave a Reply

  • Linda Kusserow June 1, 2020, 8:14 pm

    Thank you so much for this beautiful poem, Kate. You made me cry.

  • ruthgaylord June 1, 2020, 8:34 pm

    Thank you so much, Kate, for your beautiful expression of grief!

  • Vicky Christensen June 1, 2020, 8:43 pm

    Such a beautiful poem. Thank you!

  • David Liddle June 1, 2020, 9:48 pm

    A poignant, honest lament. How long, O Lord? Thank you Kate.

  • csbrowning June 1, 2020, 10:02 pm

    Many share your grief. Thanks for expressing it so well!

  • SONJA WALKER June 2, 2020, 3:14 pm

    Lovely Poem, not easy, but lovely.

  • Judy solmonson June 2, 2020, 7:08 pm

    How true…Breath is not cheap! Thank you, Kate.

  • Maura Kolars June 2, 2020, 7:59 pm

    Your poem says it all, Kate. Thank you.

  • ann lovrien June 9, 2020, 12:34 am

    So beautifully connected. So powerfully described.

  • Carla Mortensen June 9, 2020, 5:05 pm

    Thank you Kate. You have put such appropriate words to the grief we feel.