Across the border
We fled one black sky night.
Bundled in the arms of a parent,
Confused and paralyzed with fright.
Too young to understand,
Where this journey will ultimately lead.
Just following the hopes of mom and dad,
To a place where their dreams for something better might succeed.
Too young to stop and argue,
Too dependent to stay in Mexico alone.
What’s a child to do?
But trust, unable to discuss or bemoan.
Today, there are things they didn’t tell me.
Things I wish I would have known what they meant.
Things that now confront me,
In this country I call “home,” where I was brought without my consent.
I’m about to graduate from high school,
I obey the golden rule.
The United States is the only home I know,
To our flag I pledge heartfelt allegiance, Why then are it’s laws so cruel?
My friends in school have jobs,
Saving for college, they work so hard.
I want to work so badly,
But have no Social Security card.
My friends, we like to go places together
Teenage fun makes me feel alive.
We have to take the bus,
The Governor withholds the license I need to drive.
Some friends have asked me to join them on a family vacation
Trips to Hawaii, Washington D.C., and even Spain.
I have to tell them “I can’t make it,”
I’m without the government issued ID, necessary to board a plane.
My family needs better medical care,
During the rain this week, I wish I had a coat.
My mother and father deserve real employment,
Gosh, I wish that I could vote!
When I read my history books,
The migration from places called HopeLESS to HopeFULL fill it’s pages.
We just did what millions of others have done,
Can you explain what I’ve done wrong that cause politicians to fly into rages?
I have three younger sisters, all born in the U.S.A
I adore them oh so deeply however, it doesn’t make much sense.
How we live as one loving family and They’re citizens,
while my parents and I are undocumented immigrants.
My sisters, they see my tears
We pray this injustice will be healed.
We’re really not asking for much,
Just a level playing field.
Don’t tell me I should “go back,”
To Mexico to wander and to roam,
Don’t suggest I shut my mouth,
This is America! It’s my home!
I don’t want your sympathy,
My plight today never was my choice.
Although we would truly appreciate it,
If you would raise your voice.
There are millions of children just like me,
Whose hopes are unjustly contorted.
We can’t march or demonstrate,
For this we’ll be deported.
When I rise to pledge the American flag,
Mounted on our school wall.
I wish you could feel my heart leap,
When I speak “liberty and justice for all.”
My heart, it sings a song throughout each day,
It’s I Still Have a Dream by Dr. King.
The tears I let my sisters see,
Flow whenever I hear his voice cry, “Let Freedom Ring!”
You might find it silly,
To be inspired by America’s past.
It’s the basis for my hope, as I await the words today of Dr. King
“Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
This poem is written for the students in Santa Ana, CA that my wife and I have the privilege to live life with. It is written with their tears, desires, energy and compassion.