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Saturday, July 29, 2017


by Alejandro Escudé

San Diego County middle school teacher Shane Parmely was detained for more than an hour by Border Patrol agents at a checkpoint in New Mexico because she refused to say whether she was a U.S. citizen. Parmely’s family helped her film the incident, which she posted Friday evening on her Facebook account in several segments that were widely shared. Parmely told Border Patrol agents that she believed she did not have to answer their questions. One agent showed her a card listing immigration law and a Supreme Court case decision that give Border Patrol agents authority to operate checkpoints within 100 miles of the border and to ask questions about citizenship without warrants. —Los Angeles Times, July 25, 2017

You can read the officer's question
On the road: "Citizens?"

It is written in moon-white
And it is perfect in its dimensions

Like a geoglyph or an alien crop circle.
It will not wear away.

The teacher's answer is also on the road,
Afloat like a raven's feather

That refuses to succumb
To the asphalt, a ragged wind-bone,

A time traveller without an end.
The tumbleweed heart of New Mexico.

Alejandro Escudé published his first full-length collection of poems My Earthbound Eye in September 2013. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing from UC Davis and teaches high school English. Originally from Argentina, Alejandro lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.