Women and Children
“In all this talk, we haven’t heard a word about his having to leave his mother.”
an elderly woman’s commentary on Donald Trump
Hidden away in verbal detention camps
of collateral damage and civilian casualties,
it is families who watch the blood
of future generations drain out into the dirt
as angry men clash on battlefields mapped
by barbaric paranoia and blind passion.
Half a world away, we read their stories
like historic fiction:
Arrests in Saudi Arabia. Attacks in France.
Rapes in Somalia. Gas clouds in Mosul.
Abuse in the West Bank. Assaults at borders.
War crimes in Aleppo. Starvation in North Korea.
And now, here (with our names on it),
the national cruelty of a call to wrench
siblings from siblings, to tear toddlers
sobbing from their anguished mothers,
a plan to separate women from their children
as they cross the border into Texas.
Brutality is being lifted from pulp fiction
into American immigration policy. It will be
a deterrent, old men with puffed chests tell us,
to other terrorized families willing to walk for weeks
to escape their memories for a chance at safety.
And so, it could come to this for our powerful cowards—
thousands of babies, boys, girls, mothers and grandmothers
will be greeted by border patrol agents as gestapo,
casualties of a new President’s proactive inhumanity
and our own embarrassed silence.
by Anne McCrady
Audio Link (hear Anne read the poem): SoundCloud