Tornillo

On Sunday May 12, 2019 I was honored to present this and other poetry at the El Paso Mother’s Day Rally to End Family Separation and Child Detention.

Tornillo

Life is short for children detained in cages.
Just like livestock was one ill-considered defense.
Children housed in tents under a fierce desert sun,
small protection from the equally chilling desert night.
Like summer camp was another deplorable explanation.
Lacking only the toxic showers rained on los antepasados
who crossed bridges looking for work. Someone whispered
about los tios, buried in an unmarked grave in South Texas.

Life is short for children who never heard of Nazi death camps,
with showers also fitted to spray poison on the heads of innocents
then buried in other unmarked graves somewhere across the sea.
And now children’s names fly through the air on soccer balls
kicked over fences, like butterflies bound for oblivion, they fly
over walls of el corralon, a corral for humans in a hostile land
where life is short for stolen children, and the land is blackened
with the blood and bones of working people yearning to be free.