“After a Long Journey” by Cristi Donoso Best

Cristi Donoso Best


You receive no welcome. What
the coyotes have not gnashed
between their teeth the men in
uniform will take.

Your children will be sent away.
The men have decided that your
children’s tears will be like a head
on a stake.

You will not weigh whether
it was better to die here or there.
Neither do the men care where you
lay your flesh.

But you will cry a salty ocean and
dream of men in suits sinking to
its desperate bottom, ties floating
around their necks.

When you see your children
they will be older but they
will hold the land in their
open hands.

from Poets Respond
March 12, 2017

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Cristi Donoso Best: “This poem is in response to John Kelly, Secretary of DHS, asserting that he will consider separating immigrant children from their mothers at the Mexico-US border and placing them in foster care. The cruelty of using children’s suffering as a deterrent to future immigrants is truly horrifying. As an immigrant myself, I put myself in these children’s place and I feel so much grief. As a foster mother, I know that children in foster care are among the most vulnerable people in our country. I can only hope that we will never allow such an assault on children’s rights to be committed by our government.” (web)

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