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Wednesday, January 05, 2011


by Margaret S. Mullins

mamacita, mamacita
grab those babies
and run for the border
swim across the river
walk through the desert
hold tight the babies
take the first job
cleaning the toilets
and then the second
vacuuming offices
sleep with the babies
work on the weekends
washing dishes
at the tex-mex place
where they let you eat
take in others' kids
whose mamas work nights
tuck them in bed with you
snuggle them tight
take them to free clinics
feed them tortillas
send them to school
to learn how to read
shop at the thrift store
go to the library
play at the green park
watch them grow strong
watch them grow smart
watch them start college
call their grandma at home
but don't cross back over
your babies are here
and they need you now
to hug them tight
as they fill out the papers
that make them point blame
at you who brought them
and taught them to love
the nation that says
they should never have come

Margaret S. Mullins splits her time between the quiet of rural Maryland and the rumpus of downtown Baltimore. Her work has appeared or is upcoming in Alehouse, Creekwalker, Sun, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Loch Raven Review, New Verse News, Chesapeake Reader, and Magnapoets, among others.  She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and the editor of Manorborn 2009:  The Water Issue (Abecedarian Press.)