Journalism In Verse

H04

Valeria

in Immigration/U.S. by

You pray they would catch a break but, as some say,
That’s life, terrarium life, wetter than ever, sodden actually
As a planet tries to cleanse itself, the sky a shroud
Filled with loss: the Camp fire, tornado debris, volcano dust,
A father and daughter washed upon the shore of the Rio Grande.
How much more can we take: the tears overflowing
The banks of a river never created to be a border
A sky so full it weeps upon our shoulders
So heavy, we are always at the flooding stage, sorrow
That should penetrate our comfy homes, leaks from
The nightly news, the weather report, the front page
Drowns out the curses and threats hurled upon humans
Fleeing El Salvador for a place that could spare a blanket,
A toothbrush, a helping hand.

Should one blame the father, the mother for wanting something
Better for the child, themselves? Death was not what they envisioned
As they traversed the bitter deserts, tried to ford a river
Just as your own mother, age 14, crossed a different border,
Was called a herring choker, left school to escape the taunts,
Scrubbed other people’s homes, made a life of labor and love
While another man’s mother fled the tidal flats of Scotland,
Her pebbledash home, married a man made rich from fleecing the poor,
So coarse Woody Guthrie made a song about his racial hate, how she
Wore her own “dynamic orange swirl” of hair, drove her son
In her Rolls Royce as he delivered newspapers. The president would brag about
His teenage job, never the mother with humble roots, English her second
Language, buried with the wealthy in All Faiths Cemetery while another mother
Watched her husband and their daughter drown, so close to the American dream
They could almost touch the bank, almost step from the water.
They named the girl Valeria, which means Strength.
She was two years old.

 

________

Yvonne Daley is a career journalist who returned to poetry for sanity in these troubled times. She lives in Vermont, still a sane place.

Latest from Immigration

These photos were taken in and around Chicago, IL.

Deportation Mass

By Paul T. Corrigan. "Instead of euphemisms, attend to our bodies."
Four illegal aliens apprehended in dense brush by members of the U.S. Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) team are led to awaiting vehicles near Eagle Pass, Texas, June 19, 2019. As Border Patrol agents are tasked to conduct intake and processing of the recent surge in migrant arrivals at the border, members of BORSTAR have been assisting in pursuing illegal aliens afield. CBP photo by Glenn Fawcett

In Roundup Country

By Jed Myers. A rumination on the border officers making immigrant roundups
At about 3:15 a.m., CBP officials temporarily suspended processing for all northbound vehicle traffic at the border crossing, as well as northbound pedestrian processing at the Pedestrian East facility.  The Pedestrian West facility and southbound vehicle lanes at San Ysidro were unaffected.  At approximately 6:25 a.m., CBP officers resumed processing northbound pedestrian traffic at the Pedestrian East facility, and resumed processing northbound vehicle traffic. CBP officials recommend that persons traveling northbound to the U.S. anticipate possible increased wait times because of the lane closures.  The lanes were closed to install additional port hardening materials at the port of entry, to include jersey barriers and concertina wire, to prepare for the potential arrival of thousands of people migrating in a caravan heading towards the border of the United States.

Survivors [AUDIO]

By Jo Angela Edwins. The children in migrant camps won't be children
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Officers arrested 271 criminal aliens last week in an enforcement action targeting individuals who pose a threat to public safety and immigration violations. ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers made the arrests across the state of Florida, Puerto Rico and the U. S. Virgin Islands.

Love It or Leave It

By Bunkong Tuon. A message from the president travels to undefined borders.
Go to Top