When I Think of the Wall

by on October 3, 2018 · 2 comments

in From the Soul

View along portion of U.S.-Mexico border wall

Photo: Mike Kniec/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

When I think of the wall
I see in my mind,
first of all,
people on my side of the wall,
people who,
when all is thought through,
appraising all of humanity,
live relatively comfortably,
in possession of all kinds of
certificates and degrees
from preschool
to PhDs,
living and/or dreaming
the dream of all dreams,
the American Dream,
that “Keeping Up with the Joneses Dream”
of coming to own
a 3 or 4 bedroom home
with a bath for each
and both a spacious den
and living room
and lovely patio
and garden
for partying with friends,
with a jacuzzi and a pool
and maybe a tennis court
thrown in,
flashing that smile
people smile
who own
time shares
and frequent flyer miles
and credit cards
that offer rewards
and iPhones
and iPads
and a million other
exotic doodads.

Then I turn my eyes
to the wall’s other side
taking in that it has a different beat,
a different flow, although
it’s also
by people
seeking better lives,
but, on this side,
too many dreams,
too often,
are deterred and disturbed
and denied,
in ruin,
too many of its citizenry
trapped in poverty;
too many women
to cruelty
from men
who feel they can’t become men
under the circumstances
within their situations;
too many communities
wracked with fear
of merciless
gangs and drug cartels
who excel
in making life
a living hell
for anyone who happens to live
where they decide to dwell
and such gives birth
to a person’s desperation and misery
and brings death
to aspirations
one might have ever held
for someday living well
and in their futility
they flee,
crossing burning deserts
where some dehydrate
like unwatered potted flowers
withering in a window
facing the sun;
crossing freezing mountains
wearing clothes
more suited
for summer
than for wintry winds
and heavy falling snow.

I see them,
in huddled masses,
following in the footsteps of generations
before them,
tired, poor,
yearning to be free,
people who Lady Liberty
has promised residency
and they arrive
and suddenly find themselves
as disheartened or more demoralized
than when they set out
for what they thought
would be better lives;
and they find themselves
fragrantly despised,
labeled as illegal aliens
who take jobs from
us, the good guys,
and milk our country dry.

And their children are torn from them
before their very eyes.

A promise becomes a lie,
in the form of a
deportation holding pen;
images of never seeing
loved ones again;
hope of a new birth
when they had thought
they had reached
heaven on earth
now in the hands of
agencies struggling
to offer them food to eat,
places to sleep and weep,
clinics and classes
to meet their medical
and learning needs
as they seek opportunities
and legal advice
as they so often
know nothing of their rights
as years of progress
in offering them asylum
in the form of a safe haven
is dying on the vine,
as “America First”
is uppermost
in a plethora of American minds.

So when I, an American,
think of the wall,
my side of said wall,
I look at the very notion
with disdain
and with shame,
considering that to
dehumanize, invisibilize
and criminalize
a people
struggling to survive
goes against all
that Lady Liberty
claims to symbolize.

If that wall is built
then our so called American Way of Life,
all the patting of ourselves on the back
as humanitarians who value
life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
is a sham and a lie.

Building a wall is such a
cold-hearted and unnecessary enterprise.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

retired botanist October 3, 2018 at 2:48 pm

As we continue to ‘manage’ (waste) and spend billions on our First World problems. Its always a pleasure, and thought-provoking, to read your writing, whatever the topic. Thanks Ernie! :-)


Rufus October 4, 2018 at 5:47 am

Mexico heal thyself.


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