Detail from a mosaic on a community wall, Ajo, Arizona


We’re a lucky family.
We crossed the border at night,
escaping dogs and guns
and human traffickers,
to find a refuge with friends.
But our neighbor Juana,
who crossed only one night later?
We hear she’s in El Paso,
working as a maid in a hotel
that rents rooms by the hour.
But “maid” is just another word for “slave,”
and Juana owes her soul and body
to the man who rescued her
from the border patrol.
She’ll be lucky
to leave that motel alive.
But what can we do?
We have no papers,
and if they find us here,
they will send us back.
We can only pray for Juana,
hoping that someday she can join us
in this little desert town,
where no one bothers us,
and no one challenges our right to be.


Poem and photo © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Midweek Motif at Poets United: “Human Trafficking”


Posted on August 2, 2017, in Ajo, Arizona, Midweek Motif, poetry, Poets United. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. You captured the helplessness even of those who are lucky enough to escape the fate. There should be options, humanity protectors sent out not to imprison but to provide sanctuary and healing. This is a very powerful piece.

  2. You have put a human face on this misery. Thank you for adding your voice to the conversation. I heard on today’s news that the number of people fleeing the US to seek political asylum here in Canada has spiked this year – especially Haitian people who are afraid of being sent back to Haiti. I am glad we can offer asylum – but sad for the many others whose lives will be upturned.

  3. A stark (real) of Juana (and many others). Thank you for opening our eyes,

  4. Sadly this one example is but a tiny glimpse of what is probably happening all over the world.

  5. The desperation and helplessness flows from your poem. Well written

  6. This poem seems to be a window to look into another world though offering the same scene. Very well written.

  7. That wall. I hope it never runs out of inspiration to you.

  8. The sadness of what is happening today and only to get worse with the mindset of the current President.

  9. You have written a long story in these few lines. What is life like when mere survival is a huge struggle?

  10. Poor people….terrible situation. It will only get worse with your new Emperor.

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