Friday, July 26, 2019


by Marsha Owens

Above: New York children read the words of their peers held in U.S. Border Patrol facilities.

like cancelling Christmas due to December
we celebrated my friend’s birthday in air conditioning instead
her 2-month-old great-granddaughter slept among us, fourth generation sweetness
all had a turn to cuddle, I held on to her innocence like a prayer
until my mind circled back to those tiny faces in, well, you know, cages
children I take to bed with me every night, every night I see bright lights stalk
     across cement floors, babies in puddled urine (never cuddled in this life)
     tear-streaked faces of 2-year-olds, eyes wide open to terror
suddenly my eyes open wide, I’m underwater, I hold my breath, kick to the
     surface to find I wasn’t in water at all.

I was in hell

children’s arms and legs flailing beside me, trying to stay afloat, I swam to the
     surface stumbled into another day, someone’s birthday maybe, read the headlines:

Life Canceled Due to Hate.

sun blazing over my roof today will cool in September

Marsha Owens’ poems have appeared in both print and on-line publications, including Streetlight Magazine, Huffington Post, TheNewVerse.News, and Wild Word Anthology. She co-edited the newly released poetry anthology, Lingering in the Margins.