The I.C.E. man

What does the I.C.E. man do each morning
To steel himself for another day
Of protecting our nation
From the lawless hordes
Escaping violence and deep poverty
In their own countries
To seek a better life here?

Does the I.C.E. man
Give a pep talk to the person in the mirror
About the vital importance
Of intercepting the poor and dispossessed
As they violate our God-given borders
To take jobs away
From law-abiding Americans,
To send their kids to American schools,
To freeload off of American largess?

When he heads out the door
Bidding his children goodbye
Does the I.C.E. man mention
That he may well be arresting kids today
The same age as his own
And putting those young foreigners in jail
Because really they are nothing more
Than common criminals?
Does he tell the story
Of the one-year-old desperado taken to court
Without his parents?
Does he boast about how little children
Tremble and weep from sheer terror
When the I.C.E. man cometh?

Buff Whitman-Bradley’s newest book is And What Will We Sing? a collection of protest and social justice poems spanning the last 25 years. He podcasts at and lives with his wife, Cynthia, in northern California. Read other articles by Buff.