FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — A Fishers woman who serves her community as a counselor and life coach, also writes poetry in her spare time. Thursday she shared a poem she wrote in memory of George Floyd.
Floyd was killed in police custody on Memorial Day. The video of his death has sparked a movement for change throughout the nation and the world.
“I can’t breathe became the rallying cry, the country’s enraged as it watched a man die. No intervention, no one stepped in. Injustice due to the color of his skin. For almost 10 minutes the man did plea, as his very last breath was cut off by a knee.”
The words were pulled from the feelings of Darlene Parnell, a career counselor and life coach, who hopes the rhythm of her words strike a deeper conversation.
“We must dig deep. Below the surface go, to pull out the root that makes the hate grow.”
Her voice speaking for many voices being heard around the country. She’s once marched in Washington D.C. for women’s rights, but can’t participate in protests anymore because of her health.
“I wanted to do something so I felt inspired to write this poem,” she said.
Parnell is hoping the poem touches the hearts of people, not just in her Fishers community, but around the country and the world.
She repeats over and over the word “we” when calling for change.
“We must wake up. We must demand til treating someone different is forever banned.”
Her poem, “I Can’t Breathe” speaks on behalf of George Floyd and others like him. “It’s about how can we come together so this doesn’t ever have to happen again in the future,” she said.
Even as she reads her own words, the emotion jumps off the page and brings her to tears. She sends a message for those who are hoping to understand why people are marching and opening a space for a shared perspective.
“People are hurting,” she said. “They’re hurting. Learn to listen to each other. Really listen and get beyond the words. Get beyond the anger.”
As someone who dedicates her life to counseling people from all walks of life, she doesn’t want her voice to start arguments. She wants real conversations.
“We’re all good at showing anger,” she said. “We need to be able to express love.”
She says stories like George Floyd highlight issues like health care and education where she doesn’t believe the black community has equal access. Issues she believes are every American’s problem.
“We must come together,” she said. “I mean now is the time. Today is the start.”
She wants her voice echoing as a challenge to recognize the value of every life.
Check out the full poem in the video below. App users can go online to view the video.