The National Catholic Review
Terry Savoie

after listening to an NPR broadcast

 

Out of busses; water-
buffalo carts; military
transports, out of harm's
way they spill,these dark,
brooding Kierkegaards,
shoulders slumped,
clutching their god-
defiant hopes, dragging
behind them their neighbors'
far-flung curses. On common
ground they each stand upon
their two miserable excuses
for legs, planting them
timidly, praying for
a harvest. In haste
they've thrown together
their impoverished, cardboard
shacks & pasted-on smiles
for foreign news correspondents
as they squat down with crinkled,
devalued currency stuffed in-
side their dirty underwear;
the NO TRESPASSING
signs hanging like millstones
from their necks. They've traveled
with generations of precious heirlooms,
without the solace of first-born sons.
Behold, here are the world's first
citizens: wizened fathers with
Zenith TV's strapped to their backs;
mothers with tired, spent breasts;
children lost forever inside
a foreign-language loudspeaker
announcement that screams bloody
murder at them, Go home to wherever
it is you came from, you bastards!
Yes, they're going, they're going,
but they never seem to be
quite able to get there.

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