Brutality at the Border


Arms pocked
with cigarette scars,
back purpled
from fist bruises,
at six, he is
a prisoner—

a skinny kid
with matted hair
who refuses
to use words,
so no one knows
his name.

Guards brand him,
Teeth gritted with rage
until he tastes blood,
his dark eyes agree.

Inside the cage,
his fingers grip
the chain link wire,
so no one else can
pull him to them.

Hollowed, alone,
he has lost his way
back to before; now
he waits in line after line
for us to find him.

by Anne McCrady

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