The Separation

In my country, gangs of fiends own the night.
In my country, we lived broken lives of torment.
My family fled with little but our naked terror.
Bleeding and blistered, our feet carried us hundreds of miles.
But I always had my familia.

We migrated in trucks, never sure
we could trust coyotes.
We roamed scorching desert, never
sure we would find food or water.
Sometimes we waited until nightfall, hidden from view.
We were nocturnal prey on winding dirt roads,
never sure if we would be killed.
But I always had my familia.

Our bellies choking from hunger,
our desolate depletion, the final forces
delivering us to the border.
So distant my country, so remote in this
unearthly place where we were captured by
armed strangers, where we were divided by

Today, I no longer have my familia.
This day is glass shattering and the shards
cut me open like a skinned rat.

Today I am that bawling baby paralyzed
by panic.

Today I am that shrieking child trembling
in terror.

Today I am that adolescent crowded
in a cage.

Today I am that tortured toddler
crying himself to sleep.

Thomas Wells’s poetry book “Complexions of Being” was recently released by Yorkshire Publishing. His poetry credits also include Caesura Journal, PS: It’s Poetry, Vols. I & II, an international poetry anthology, Dissident Voice, The Magnolia Review, The Opiate, and Tuck Magazine. Over several decades, his poems have appeared in Visions International, Cafeteria, Gargoyle, and West End Magazine. In 1982, he published his first chapbook of poetry titled "Native Steel" through Black Buzzard Press. He is a member of The Poetry Center of San Jose, California. Read other articles by Thomas.