43 Disappeared Students

Fue El Estado~

They could not just sit in Iguala

and wait for men in Mexico City to act

on their behalf –  boldness was needed.

The federal war on drugs had devolved

into a war on the impoverished

people of Ayotzinapa. United by grief,

madres, padres y sus familias turned

their lives and meager shacks into shrines

to the “disappeared”—

forty-three students taken off a bus

at gunpoint by police-protected narcotraficantes

recruiting for murderous military guerrillas.

Now no one was listening.

After lighting 43 candles in an intersection,

setting 43 empty desks in a school yard,

shouting the 43 names on broadcast news

brought nothing that could be called justice,

the left behind banded together to become

a charismatic force with a voice: Caravan 43.

Now, traveling north with stacks of posters and pain,

they stand their ground in Dallas and Denver and D.C.

to tell their children’s stories—all with a single message

to the world, and, in it, the desperate theme of the inexplicable

tragedies in West Africa and North Korea and Syria and Russia,

a frightening slogan that sadly but insistently indicts us all:

Fue el Estado. It was the State.

Newslinks: The Rag Blog, NPR, Daily News, Univision

Audiolink: SoundCloud

Poet with a Press Pass is a weekly blog of poems written by Anne McCrady in response to world news and current events, produced by InSpiritry. To find out more about Anne’s work, visit InSpiritry.com.