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Wednesday, April 04, 2018


by Ben White

After days of walking from Mexico’s southern border, the caravan of hundreds of migrants that has drawn President Trump’s Twitter ire has now halted on a brown-grass soccer field, its participants unsure and anxious about the way forward. —The Washington Post, April 3, 2018

There is a caravan of Hondurans
Gypsying its way
Through Mexico
                                    And headed north
To the border
Of milk and honey
Where there’s nothing funny
About the fear
                                    Of American values
Holding tight to beliefs
That have lost anything
To believe in
                                    As the caravan grows
In numbers to become
A mythological beast
Ready to feast
                                    On the benevolence
Of citizens
Who stopped
Demonstrating benevolence
Sometime around 1776
                                    And who now hide
Their truest attitudes behind
Stacks of dead, rifle-shot children,
Prison walls full of minorities,
And credit cards stacked high
                                    With dream-debt
And yet,
The people remain
Hypocritical enough
To claim a national perfection
That has never existed,
                                    So as much
As honesty
Has been resisted,
It is not a surprise
To see the disguise
Of greatness
                                    Fading and falling
From the face
Of patriotic
Ideologies and ironies
                                    While preparing
                                    A hate-filled response
Against the all-destructive
Caravan rolling closer
To the closed communities
Unwilling and unable
                                    To practice
The righteousness
Of strength
                                    And virtue.

The author of Buddha Bastinado Blues and The Kill Gene, Ben White was convinced he was a poet only to find out he is not a poet at all—he is a witness.  What he writes is testimony.