They call me filth,
but I don’t respond.
I just focus on the work
they pay me to do:
cleaning their homes,
putting food on their tables,
serving their meals,
and constructing their offices.
I build their homes,
and take their calls,
lining their pockets much more than my own.
Today I wait to clean the site
as they scream more names into the crowd:
In response to Jeff Session’s comments at the US border regarding South and Central American immigrants.
In response to the missing, disappeared and mass graves of Mexico.
There are no marigolds for us
or candles to light our way.
No memories shared
or family visits;
No bread for a treat.
I long to see my little sister –
he, his beautiful wife.
That one has daughter, and
he, a family of five.
So many people searching;
So many of us lost.
Another October passes and
still no marigolds for us.
Flashes of light against the sky,
I envision something beautiful –
like a storm out on the horizon;
water drops pelting the land.
Thunder claps; it jars the room –
I cover my eyes to block the sound.
Then I feel a fear I’ve never felt
after all these years of storms.
A nightmare wraps around my neck
and steals away my breath.
“You’re only scared,” I tell myself,
and the dream changes shape.
The rumbles fade to whispering voices –
my body drifts across the room.
Outside the rain caresses me,
though I see it is not from the sky.
I feel the rest of a most peaceful dream –
is there finally quiet after the storm?
In response to the chemical attacks in Syria.
Seeds have the most wonderful life,
drifting to find some fertile soil to call home.
To breath the air, enjoy the sun,
perhaps bearing fruit of their own.
Sometimes landing almost where they started;
other times riding the wind far away.
No barriers or boundaries limit them,
and seeds have no need for rules.
The red seed settled next to the yellow one,
sharing the same daylight, drinking the same rain.
Sometimes they intermingle,
and the orange seed flies away.
My views on immigration.
In response to the famine crisis in Africa and the Middle East.
Is it sweet like bint al sahn dipped in butter?
Or a sip of shai haleeb?
Like lahooh, does it give you energy?
Or fill your belly like ful?
Do the battles stop the hunger?
The oil quench your thirst?
While I pray for food,
you feed a different kind of appetite.
Power must be the greatest delicacy.
Inspired by The Economist article Return of the third horseman – Famine menaces 20m people in Africa.
One second, unexpected –
that moment everything changes.
Waiting in line,
you speak of tomorrow’s game.
It’s another day, like yesterday,
until there’s a knock on the door.
Vested men, peering in,
and suddenly your father’s gone.
“This isn’t fair!”
“It isn’t right!”
But the vested ones do not care.
Alone you stand;
the school bell rings;
tears drench your cheeks.
A deep breath,
another second – this one more deliberate.
Your resolve is clear,
Your resolve is final –
You will change everything.
One second turns to years,
a quiet rebellion of your own.
You will make it right;
You will make it fair,
for you are here to stay.
Inspired by this Washington Post article.