I Am Not Ready to Die by John Burroughs

I Am Not Ready to Die


I am not ready to go gently
into Dylan’s “good” night
while wannabe Blackwater
thugs crush kinfolk for cash in Portland
and maybe soon Cleveland.

I am not ready to die
before there is justice
for Sandra Bland
and Breonna Taylor.

I am not ready to let go
while white would-be masters
and their whelps
so wary of wearing masks
seem rapt with delight
at the thought of regurgitating
yesterday’s noose in their fight
against Black lives mattering.

Oh the splattering!

I am not ready to rest on my laurels
worthless as they may be
while there is work to do
and while not a word
the President says is true
is true.

Believe me.

I am not ready to watch
my loved onesbe ground
down into the Cleveland blacktop
by blackguards and blackshirts
issuedforth fromWashington
by the liar, cheat and
black heart in chief
who believes the police force
that killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice
the same Cleveland police force
that shot 137 bullets into unarmed
Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams
might need a little extra firepower
to carry out their black work.

I am not ready to die, friends
unless it is by your side in the fight
for fairness, for right
and for equal justice.

3 Responses to “I Am Not Ready to Die by John Burroughs”


    Beautiful and strong worded.

  2. priscampbell Says:

    This struck a real chord with me.

  3. This is one for the history books in the future as it eloquently describes the flames that are stoked with anguish and rage as the lives of black and brown Americans continue to be taken by police officers across the country. This is both an anthem and a call to action against injustice in verse achingly honest and as beautiful as the actions described are brutal and ugly. This is sure to resonate through time long after the smoke has cleared. This is what a poet at the height of his craft looks like. Thank you, John Burroughs!

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