Scoundrel Time

Refugee Song

Under Mylar blankets the refugee children dreaming of pupusas stare
through the diamond shaped holes of the fencing that surrounds them.

We want you to go home, we tell them, then put them in private prisons
and county jails and processing centers and tent cities and foster homes.

We say, we have zero tolerance. We say, you’re worth more to us
locked up, and then we send them to Grand Forks, North Dakota,

and send their mothers to Corpus Christi, Texas.  We don’t take
fingerprints, we don’t keep records, we send them tumbling blindly

to a thousand facilities across the nation. Are you ready to go home now,
we ask. Are you ready to go home to M-13, to death squads,

to the papito who swears to dios he will kill you as soon as you return?
So do we have your permission to keep you forever, we ask, and now

they nod in unison. Good, we say, and snap together another tent city.
Good, we say, you’re helping us build a strong economy. Good, we say,

capitalism is patriotism. Good, we say, the judge will see you now.





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