Border Town

May 11th, 2011 by Deborah K. Kelly

For the children of Juarez


The barrio radio
pitches hilarity at our windows,
with clumps of baritone, the news.

We try to untwist
from our sheets of sleep.
The day, already binding.

Outside, the bougainvillea
are magenta fountains,
bolder than we in daylight
and bolder at scaling walls.

Our kitchen table stands
still warm from our breakfast bowls,
and Mama’s on the long ride
to a factory on the outskirts.

Until night, when the lightbulb
shivers on its wire
over the shhhh…tunk of Mama’s ironing
on tomorrow’s school uniforms.

But we want what her factory makes.
And we do not want to die trying.

Javier died not trying anything.
Without and empty, only walking
where came sudden guns.

Hear? Until he died trying,
Jaime got cash for meth
by the arroyo that disappeared Maria,
and you didn’t hear.

Sundays, the church pews slump,
old backs of prayer horses,
and we taste bitter copal
with body and blood.

The supper table stands
on loose legs, with cold places
at vacant chairs.

Don’t let it be.

Don’t let the bougainvillea drop
to piles of sepia,
fragile and faded…

like we are already gone.




Tags: , , , , ,

3 Responses to “Border Town”

  1. Laura says:

    Excellent scene setting and sound effects… the poem is a detailed scene in my mind’s eye.

  2. Laura says:

    …and beautiful blue texture… border town blue.

Leave a Reply