Nelda’s Journey 1: Live, I may

Image result for Mexican refugee mother and daughterI’m Nelda, I’m nine and I want to die
I follow my mother like a shadow
But at night, clocked in invisibility
Uncle, a gang member, comes and I lie

Sometimes it’s mama, I’m spared
Sometimes he locks her up and it’s me
I hear mama begging and crying
But it’s no point, we’re ensnared

I hate papi. He was a security guard
He got paid but his job wasn’t safe
He protected a government judge
One day gang put a gun to his head

Once uncle came with a friend
That night and all nights after!
Gangs control Venezuela
Mama and I. None of us spared

Image result for caravan of refugees from central americaOne day mama said, let’s walk
Her friend told her about a caravan
In silence we walked to join’em
Nothing to discuss, no talk

I’ll write my own poem some day
Two roads emerged and I took one
I wished to die, instead I walked
And just perhaps…. live, I may

STAY TUNED FOR PART 2 OF NELDA’S JOURNEY in my next blog post.
PS: It is understandable that no country can have completely open borders. Every country has first responsibility towards its own population. It is also common sense that increasingly we live in a global world and it is increasingly challenging to have impenetrable borders with walls. Appropriate strategy to enhance border security must include 21st century tools with sensors, embedded technology and more. Appropriate strategy must also include extremely sophisticated negotiations with use of carrots and sticks with neighboring countries to curb violence and drug cartels with enhanced use of high tech for inter country co-operation. To remove all compassion, resort to outdated and costly means of building walls, snatching kids away, adopting ruthlessness devoid of any humanity and not truly address the root causes of the problems are truly abominable and absolutely ineffective practices. These traumatized children can have lasting impact and society will be left to pick up the pieces from intense trauma created by ineffective practices.

Latin America has huge pockets of crime where gangs rule and they target women, children, security personnel, LGBTQ and other members more susceptible and weak. Police are often susceptible or suspect and people have little trust in law enforcement. Organized crime and related economies drive the surge and abatement in violence and form the root causes and concurrent abatement and surge of refugees at our borders and must be addressed.  People do not put children in the hands of smugglers just for fun or because our policies admit them. The path to US border is extremely perilous. The ONLY REASON people send their children and/ or bring them here is because they are literally trying to save themselves and their children from turning up dead or worse.
Please please please listen to the voices of the children in this recording


  1. #1 by Pragnaji on June 20, 2018 - 6:39 am

    poem has great expression …and realities

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