by David L. Updike
“Trump Officials Defend Family Separations: Detention centers are ‘like a summer camp,’ ICE official says.” Washington Post, August 1, 2018
With apologies to Alan Sherman, as well as everyone else around the world, especially the families enduring this in real life.
Hello Madre, Hello, Padre,
Here I am at Camp El Norte.
Camp is very entertaining,
If you think that cages are accommodating.
We play fútbol (they call it soccer),
But we cannot touch each other.
You remember my sister, little María?
I’d send her love, but I still haven’t seen her.
All the guards hate all los niños,
And they think we eat Doritos.
And poor Rafael, alone in the corner,
Catatonic ever since we crossed the border.
Now I don’t want to alarm you,
But we’ve been shipped to another venue.
It’s in someplace called New Jersey,
Dios mío, won’t you please show us some mercy?
Take me home,
O Madre, Padre.
Take me home,
I hate El Norte.
Don’t leave me here
In this land, where I’ll never be
Treated like a man.
Take me home.
I promise I will not complain,
Or take up with a violent gang.
O please don’t make me stay.
There must be another place
To make our asylum case.
Dearest Madre, Dearest Padre,
We have formed a little cadre.
We are hoarding food and water,
And getting ready to break out for the border.
There’s a place we’ve heard is better,
And when we get there, I’ll send a letter.
It lies up north, across the frontier.
A dangerous journey, but please don’t fear.
Querida Mamá, Querido Papá,
I’ll meet you in the land that’s called Canadá.