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Poem- Divided

by Crystal Torres on March 13, 2017

My father crossed the border
into Alta California
He was not sent
He did not bring drugs
He did not bring crime
He was not a rapist

Build the Wall

Not far from my home
protesters shouted hatred at busses
filled with children–whose fathers
like mine
were Mexican citizens
Protesters compared them to stray dogs
The news called them, “detainees”
these frightened
children

“All they will call you will be, ‘deportees’”

Never read the comments
At least, don’t take them personally
I fail at these things
wondering why these strangers despise me
or maybe just the half of me they call illegal
Would they have me cut in half?
Build their wall along my spine?

“You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself.”

˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜

This is a different poem for me. It’s a reaction to things that seem a step removed, just headlines. Goodness knows, that I, with my mother’s Irish skin, and my Los Angeles birth certificate am at no risk of racial epithets, let alone deportation. I am safe. Maybe none of this is my problem, other than that how anyone is treated in my country, by my government, seems rather like it is my problem. This poem is not that different for me. It is not an offering of solutions. Like every other poem I write, it is just a way of taking uncomfortable emotions, things I don’t know how to talk about, and pinning them down on paper. That’s all.

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