God bless

In God-Bless-America
We continue to refine
The arts of cruelty
Even as they are applied
To the bodies and souls
Of children.
It has recently been revealed
That in addition to being ripped away
From their refuge-seeking parents
And caged in detention centers
That are nothing more than prisons
By another name,
Some children are being held
In secret, privately-operated “black sites”
Without the knowledge of their loved ones
Immigrant support organizations
Or lawyers.
Oversight and accountability
Are virtually nonexistent
In those facilities
And various forms of abuse
Have been reported.

In God-Bless-America
We take a back seat to no nation
In our compassion for the less fortunate
Our concern for the threatened
And the vulnerable
Our love of children.
But if parents who claim
They’re after a better life
For their families
Insist on crossing our borders
Without the proper papers,
However desperate they may be,
Well, what can we do?
Sorry kids, but it’s your mothers and fathers
Who are responsible
For the misery you are enduring
Not us.
We’re just trying to keep our country safe
From law-breakers like you.
It might help you feel better
About being in prison,
Separated from your families,
Abused by strangers,
To remind yourselves that your dream
Was to make it to the USA
And here you are!

God bless.

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 thirdactpoems.podbean.com and lives with his wife, Cynthia, in northern California. Read other articles by Buff.