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Poem: Border Crossing

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Beatrice Murch
/
Flickr

The idea of the borderless world is not necessarily gone.  But borders – in Europe and North America – are a very real part of 21st Century life.  We dip into the Lake Effect poetry archive for this 2008 recording from Milwaukee poet Carmen Murguia:

I did not ride the
TRUNK of a Chevy.
I was the driver!
I did not need my
BIRTH CERTIFICATE,
They knew my name.
I did not apply for
a GREEN CARD
Either
I was born here!
¡Nací Aquí!

I was crossing
A DIFFERENT BORDER
That invisible county line…
De NIÑA A MUJER
Crossing over
From
A girl to a woman

Barbed wire
CARVED
beneath my skin
as I crawled on my
hands,
into adolescence
through the kitchen
door
and out of the
classroom
and on my knees
hoping to find
someone
the AUTHORITIES
could not.
Now,
“How difficult can it
be?” you ask
to find
A Mexican Woman
And
her Poetic child
wrapped up in a bold
Z-A-R-R-R-A-P-E of
dreams

I’d find her anywhere
Only…
I was absorbed by the
American Flag!

Yes, Indeed!
The good ol’
Red, White, and Star-
Spangled Blue
wrapped ‘round me
so tightly,
a straight jacket
of
the English language,
Baseball,
Hot dawgs, and hot apple pie
poured into my veins
turned
my skin so pale…

I slipped right past the
border patrol!

You see,
This was
No ordinary
Mexican Woman
they were looking for:

I had a diploma in one
hand, not a man on
the other,
and the keys,
the keys to MY OWN
CHEVY

NOT
A trace of blood or
tears
Not even shame
Did I leave behind on
that dry soil,
As I crossed MY
BORDER
de
NIÑA A MUJER

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