Tuesday, December 25, 2018

10)Wise Men by James Metelak

From far-off
Bearing gifts
Following the star
A promise
An expedition
Across desert sand
A caravan

They came to a manger and

But first, they came to the border and
Were detained

What child is this?
Citizen.  American.
Her smile 50+ -star-bright light.
This is the only place she’s ever known.
She’s got a touch of the divine Sophia
In her eyes.
Central Asian and Mexican raised in Harlem.

Poll straws fall, fearmongers scream
We need a wall.
To protect us from messiahs and unsavories and extraterrestrials and moms.
No room at the inn
Where 10 room houses for 2-person families
Are normal.

The face of a child
Can you look in his/her face and say
That Yemenis and Afghanis and Congolese and Hondurans and Rohinga
Are less than? 
That they contain some defect:  genetic, cultural, economic, educational,
That says “our privilege is not for them.”
Will you take the door in your hand and
Shut it in the face of the orphan
Knocking at the door,
Praying for a family.
Shut it in the face of the homeless family
Living in a blue-tarp-tent camp.

The wall already exists

My month’s work
Is worth less than a day’s minimum wage work in the US
Just on the basis of geography
I’m the same person
With the same skills, same education
Teaching the same subjects

And where did we get this privilege? 

Venimus Vidimus Vicimus
A cross (centuries) of pistolas y colonialismo
21st Century client corporation state slaves
Countries systematically economically raped
And we wonder why the boys join gangs
What other options were there in San Quentin pre-deportation?  Survive.
And when the markets and lands are dominated by foreign corporations
There’s no capital left for a struggling nation
And in such a place of systematic oppression
The Maras provide their final solutions.  Survive.
The coyotes will take your money and your innocence.
And your kids will lose their identities
After the flight to Egypt
But at least you won’t worry so much about bullets.  Survive.
Run the desert.  Survive. 
Survive.  Turf wars and barbed US Aid funds.
Survive.  That’s what makes them wise. 

To us a child is born
A daughter is given
Under a streetlight in
An alley on a Tijuana street
Her mother didn’t make it to the border
But can you say
She’s not one of us? 
Can you not see the light in her eyes?
The gift that she is?
The gifts that she holds inside?

They come
From far-off
Bearing gifts
Following the star
A promise
An expedition
Across desert sand
A caravan

James Metelak is a poet, photographer, and singer-songwriter based in Kyrgyzstan, and the editor/curator of the Headpiece Blog.  Check out more of his work at http://sandpiperparade.weebly.com.  

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