Sunday, January 27, 2013

"They will kill me . . . "

The dissonance of a political dissident
Sounded cliche
To my United States of American
Ears accustomed to hearing,
"My dad will kill me if he finds out"
And other idioms of death
Thrown about meaninglessly.

In my defense I did not know he was
Dissident; he was just a groom.
He was not just another Mexican.
But all those countries south,
To the average United States of American,
Are the same.
Even Guatemala in the 1980s.

When Immigration went on raids,
Carlos was afraid.
He always said,
"They will kill me if I go back."
How cliche.
When Carlos was deported,
We never heard from him again.

     **     **     **     **

History is the current event
Of yesterday
Within your comfort zone.
It is easier to take sides with the dead.
They don't require your helping hand
To pull them from a grave.
Your hands remain clean, not bloodied.

Your mental assent to their cause
Does not demand your personal descent
Into terror.
You can bury your head in the
Sands of history
And leave it there,
Safe from the sandstorm around you.

Know your history;
Escape the condemnation of
Repeating it.
Know that no one sits on the sidelines
Of its making.
Active or passive,
We all have blood on our hands.


  1. Deep topic this morning, kiddo, and an important one. The Disappeared. Your two closing lines sum up our part in the status quo so well.

  2. Libby, I have read a lot of of your poetry; and this is my favorite of yours and the most hard hitting. So very sad about Carlos, especially for you who knew him personally; but all of these 'dissidents' are people someone knows personally, people with famlies. So very sad for all of them. I don't know the answer, but your poem really raised important points!

  3. Libby, I am so moved by this--those who have disappeared--and yes, maybe we all have blood on our hands--

  4. I find such truth in this poem, so important not to forget our history and fight for the rights of others. Astounding piece!

  5. Those who are relatively safe can't even begin to know how scary it can be in certain dangerous parts of the world, superb writing.

  6. As a Southern Arizonan, I so appreciate the message you share here. We know so many who risk so much to chase the American dream. You just shined the spotlight.

  7. brilliant. gobsmacking brilliant committed and awesome.

  8. certainly one of the best poems i read this week. awesome!


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