April 23, 2021

DAUS Professor Responds to Verdict in George Floyd Trial Through Poetry

By April Krassner, Clinical Associate Professor of Writing, DAUS

Gratitude (for the witnesses)

I do not know how this could have been otherwise, but I know it could have been otherwise. A 91 year old women upon hearing the verdict in the George Floyd murder trial

He died. We just wanted to let you know, 

except there were witnesses. What they saw, 

they saw and had the presence of mind…..

They saw and did what they did for us, for all 

of us, when they were on their way to do what 

they were heading to do, their daily doings 

in broad daylight except well... when they

saw what they saw, saw what they knew. 

We didn’t, weren’t there, didn’t see; 

didn’t know, but they brought it to us

using their voices in the awful wonder 

of wondering. How was it reasonable? 

They helped us to see and we saw what they 

knew. We know because they knew they needed 

to do and they did, yet apologized 

for what they think are failings in stopping 

the unstoppable when they knew what they knew

knowing right from wrong. They did not fail.

They did not fail us in bringing us there

and a family to peace. They succeeded 

through their sense of sorrow, misgivings,

and grief. They saw and they spoke and they broke 

through the thin, blue line, the thick ribbon 

of racism. I thank you for your loving 

presence, your kindnesses, and tender 

mercies. I thank you for seeing and knowing

and coming forth to speak what must be spoken.



April Krassner is a Clinical Associate Professor of Writing in the NYU SPS Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies, where she teaches Introduction to Creative and Expository WritingWriting Workshop I, and Writing Workshop II.


Related Articles