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Saturday, February 23, 2013


by Sandra Larson

        In memory of Joaquin Luna Jr.
18-year-old Joaquin Luna Jr. took his own life in November 2011 in his home in Mission, Texas. His parents reported he was depressed because, although a very good student, he was receiving only rejection letters from colleges and was also disappointed when the Dream Act failed to pass through the US Congress.  He did receive one acceptance letter after his death. 
Image source: Tucson Citizen

He pressed the revolver
underneath his chin
and fired.  
Its force
his forest
of feeling,
a wind storm
sapping his life
pieces now
on the bathroom tiles.
hear the dripping
of hope, the draining
of dreams for college,
a career in engineering.  Blue-
prints on the floor.
His desk is neat.
Letters stacked
upon it ask,
Are you a citizen?
The steely word –illegal?

Illegal, illegal
through the rooms
off his parents,
brothers’ grief.
The only response,
of puffed-up politicians,

Build a wall, build a wall, a wall!

America shoots another one.

A native of New Jersey, Sandra Sidman Larson is a retired manager and leader from the nonprofit world in the Twin Cities of Minnesota who has lived and traveled coast to coast and across the seven continents for work and for adventure. She’s been writing poetry for a quarter century and most recently she was selected for the Foreword Program at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, a program established to assist promising writers produce a manuscript for publication. Along the way she has seen her poems appear in magazines and journals and she also has three published chapbooks.  In 1996 poet Naomi Shihab Nye nominated her for a Pushcart Prize.