A land of open arms is changing now.
Cold, closed, crossed: our borders block the entry
Of ordinary bodies homeward bound,
Although their stories make it to their country.
Sarvin Haghighi kept from her own husband,
Kamal Fadlalla’s doctor-training stopped,
Nael Zaino reaching for his son’s hand—
Called nameless risks, and of their families robbed.
What must the children think of punished parents,
Made into questions strewn across the sea?
Where once were people, now just “where?” and “when?”,
And “who’s this judge?” and “will he set Dad free?”
Of us, too, ask: will freedom turn its back?
Or will our rules make hearts and minds abstract?
His trumpet tweets: the judges’ transgressions!
My noise will live beyond this courtly cadence!
Repeated notes in all the same progressions:
Insults—fake news—the Wall—terrorists—Pence!
The judges’ cymbals clang against this canon,
Whose harsh beat tries again to split and banish;
Injunctions clap down, halting citizens’ panic,
As workers, migrants, students cease to vanish.
Through atonal commotion drums new thunder
Distracting from the belting trumpet’s croons,
The sounds of marching feet respond to blunders,
Demanding different rhythms, different tunes.
The audience, distressed, hears from these marchers,
Freedom’s music, and harmony’s departure.
—LDS, PTL, ERP
A judge, met with the superlative grump,
To ensure that hatred would not prevail,
Reversed the notion made by Donald Trump: Discrimination on a “yuuuge” scale.
A nation-state working against itself,
Tearing its binding at the seams within,
Like an unread book, aging on a shelf,
Our country’s scriptured pages grow too thin.
For travelers suddenly grounded afar,
A brief window of happy chance arose.
Now as they fly again toward our bright stars,
Two branches of the state are contraposed.
But where with humane law Trump disagrees,
Checks must be balanced for eternity.
—NN, OS, JD