Journalism In Verse

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

in Immigration by

Some round other humans up,
Guns drawn, northern on southern,

Pale on darker, older on young,
More men on more women and girls,

Some in boots marching the barefooted
Through those cage doors—here come

The Americans, in their shining
Badges and Betsy Ross shoulder patches,

Prodding their shabbier cousins, muzzles
In chests bellies and backs, such

Shaming welcome they shame themselves
But don’t see it that way. I think

The ones with guns and orders to fill
The pens feel they’re the real people,

Not those lean strays who graze north
From whatever trouble they’ve made.

Oh, but take these upholders down
To skivvies and skin, no belts, holsters,

Uniforms or merit pins, leave them
Out in the sun a few weeks—let’s see

If we can tell which bunch is the real
Americans. Who’ll look like they need

Rounding up then? Or a shower,
A simple meal, a safe bed.



Jed Myers is author of Watching the Perseids, The Marriage of Space and Time, and four chapbooks. Recognitions include The Southeast Review’s Gearhart Prize and The Tishman Review’s Millay Prize. Poems appear in Rattle, Poetry Northwest, The American Journal of Poetry, Terrain,org, Solstice, and elsewhere.

Photo by CBP.


ICE has begun raids to round up undocumented immigrants, official says

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