Poem

Migrant Paths

Migrant Paths is a poem by Heather Dean based on the shared experiences of Edwin Dominguez, a migrant youth from Guatemala

Migrant Paths is a poem by Heather Dean based on the shared experiences of Edwin Dominguez, a migrant youth from Guatemala

Salvadorans
Guatemalans
Hondurans
children, women, men
a few straggling Mexicans

we trudge the hard paths
through farm fields
along small-town lanes.

We chase the American dream,
looking to that moment when we will
scale
the infamous wall.

Hot, cold, hungry, thirsty.
No one
believes what we have suffered,

how hard it is to walk the seashores
the lakeshores
onward toward
the Rio Bravo, the Fierce-Water.

We won’t forget,
ever,
that train-ride,
that Beast,
how our souls plunged
at the thought of death.

Many brave souls
risk that fortunate bridge.
They smile
when they cross:
nothing left behind.

But always, the circling migra-predators
snare them
lock them in the cursed ice boxes
where children huddle under aluminum
blankets.

How hard to abandon
one’s old life for something
new
only to see it crumble.

But don’t submit
to depression.
Take consolation.
This moment is not forever.
Do not give up on your life,
for it is precious.

Even now, there are those who love you,
those who will sing
God’s praises
when, finally, you are home.