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Tuesday, February 25, 2014


by Kristina England

Image source: Mexodus

‘South Texas businessman [and Texas Senate candidate] Chris Mapp, 53, told this editorial board that ranchers should be allowed to shoot on sight anyone illegally crossing the border on to their land, referred to such people as “wetbacks,” and called the president a “socialist son of a bitch.”’--The Dallas Morning News editorial (16 February 2014) endorsing Sen. John Cornyn.

My aunt loves to eat Mexican food
so we go out for dinner,
order guacamole, flautas, fajitas.
None of it is authentic,
but what is these days?

My aunt asks the waitress where she's from,
how to say "you're welcome" in Spanish,
then says "Gracias" about nine times.
If we were at any other restaurant,
she'd complain about poor English,
that it's a God-given right to be American.

My aunt knows nothing about El Bordo
or the displaced people living there,
deported by our government,
left between two countries
in a land full of sewage and trash,
most having lived in America so long
they are unable to speak with Tijuana.
Tired, hungry, they walk the border,
no longer sure which direction is home,

while my aunt, red in her politics,
fills her belly with wine and beans,
stumbles over the words "De nada,"
her language gnarled by barbed wire,
disjointed, misplaced.

Kristina England resides in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her fiction and poetry is published or forthcoming at Gargoyle, The New Verse News, The Story Shack, The Quotable, and other magazines. Her first collection of short stories will be published in the 2014 Poet's Haven Author Series.