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Thursday, December 27, 2018


by Sarah Edwards

Elvira Choc, 59, Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal's grandmother, rests her head on her hand in front of her house in Raxruha, Guatemala, on Saturday 15 December 2018.) Jakelin was the first of two Guatemalan children detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection who died in government custody this month. Felipe Alonzo Gomez died in custody on Christmas Eve. (AP Photo/Oliver de Ros via The Independent [UK])

You live in safe houses,
get mail in a box outside your door.
You walk on streets, paved and lit.
Your homes have walls and roofs,
bedrooms to wrap babies in blankets,
kitchens that smell like clean.

We live in no houses.
Our address is the same for all,
Pueblo San Fronteras
Village Without Borders.
Streets are numbered by how far
we can push them ahead each day,
by what work we find
for money to eat,
buy space to sleep.

We travel on paths worn down
as thin as our sandals,
carry barefoot children on our backs.
We make a caravan together
because it is fearful to walk alone,
speak and not be heard.
We seek what you call asylum.
To us, it is asilo, a home safer
than we have ever known.

Step after step, day after day,
hope of welcome paves our way.
Then we will get mail,
build walls and roofs,
bedrooms to wrap babies in blankets,
kitchens that smell like clean.

Sarah Edwards is a retired pastor in the United Church of Christ with many publication credits, including two books of poetry, Pandora, Let's Talk and the newly-released What the Sun Sees. She is outraged at the treatment and disregard for people who want to find safety and make a life in the United States. The so-called freedoms that we espouse are only figments of our egocentric imagination unless we understand them to belong to everyone.