Volume 25, Number 3

Bedtime on Independence Day

In the summer of 2014, thousands of unaccompanied minors crossed Mexico’s border with the United States.

The GOP congressman says we should not give
the impression they can stay. The coyote left me
says Angel, 13, and I walked alone in the desert. Your
policies did it,
the president’s enemies say. They’re tired
and hungry and scared,
says the priest. They spend your
tax dollars,
says the radio man. Their homes are poor
and murderous,
says the advocate. Stay close to your
were Ana’s grandmother’s last words. Huddled
in detention centers,
the newswoman says, these masses
are overwhelming. I don’t fault their yearning

says the mayor, but. I stop reading to put my kids to
sleep. Their great-grandparents came in steerage. It hurts to breathe
as I watch their faces: drowsy, safe and free.

—Kimberly G. Jackson