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poetry Borderland

Worried about the Great Wall separating Mexico from the USA? California poet Amy Meier offers a mild antidote to your fears.

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By Amy Meier

This morning and every morning
as the sky turns from pewter
to robin’s egg across Texas,
New Mexico, Arizona, and California,
Juan Chavez Serrano, Miguel Ruiz Pintor,
Cipriano Martinez Rios and others like them
report for work enclosing new housing communities
with seven-foot stucco walls and wrought iron
fences whose primary purpose is to keep
themselves, and other like them, out.

The new United States president sees the opportunity
to extend this idea, fulfill his campaign promise to
build a great wall, it’s gonna be really great,
folks, it’s gonna be amazing,
he says.

I hear this threat dressed up like a promise,
picture a four state 1500 mile gated community,
imagine Juan, Miguel, Cipriano and others
like them hired for border wall building,
noting as they drive the posts where
ICE prowls, marking territory, 
observing where ICE has no presence.

Each day they fasten sections of American
made steel, code mark the bases so the
unofficial night crew on the southern side
of this construction project will know the safest,
the most secure locations to set up the ladders,
throw up the grappling hooks and dig the tunnels. 

Amy Meier, born in New York City, has lived in the San Jose, CA area for over 30 years. Her work has been included in the 2015 edition of Caesura, the 2011 anthology REMEMBERING: Poems Read at Willow Glen Books, and the 2009 Family Album Santa Clara County. She has been a featured reader at Stone Griffen Gallery Art and the Spoken Word in Campbell, CA, TEN10 Gallery in Campbell, CA and Flash Fiction Forum in San Jose, CA. Her poem American Dream received Honorable Mention in the 2015 Los Gatos Poetry Contest. In 2015, with support from Poetry Center San Jose, Amy founded VeteransWrite, a writing group for veterans and their family members, meeting once a month on the San Jose State University campus.