For the Lost Children
This morning, I want to search for lost children wrenched from families at the border, and sent in random directions on random airplanes across states to fit into random new lives. Do these children step out of fear in dreams and fly back to beds next to siblings in Guadalajara or escape cots covered with metallic blankets, enclosed in cold storage rooms on the US side of the Rio? I hope tears are someday forgotten and there is a faint blue in the hollow of eyes in deep sleep. Their mothers, will rescue and wrap them in longed- for arms. In the news, I want to read something incredible: Today, the lost children escaped and drifted in peace on pastel clouds pulling them upwards along streams of soft air, soaring in the wake of colored birds leading to safety. The wind whispers “You have been found”. We must protect and release them, repair rifts in this world so children are kissed goodnight by parents and moment to moment will trust waiting strangers will not send them flying away in nightmares of loss.
George Floyd’s Voice*
A night wind interrogates pines on Pescadero’s tangled coast. The roiled sea unbuckles, flattens. Other sounds — a plaintive voice pressed hard against my house. Someone unbidden in my life. Through the curtain-chink, I listen, review dark thoughts of those I might have hurt or actions left undone. I vow to examine my voice of privilege, pledge whatever of my life remains. Words yet unspoken.
*On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black American man, was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill.
for Sarah You close your office door, walk down Larkin, careful to step over needles and feces. Homeless with shopping carts ripple down the street. Moonlight reveals them, packed like a trout-thick stream. April night weak with clouds. Smells of salt and death. This air, this stench, this breath-- a grimness shallow and permanent. All day, there were few words, just pancakes for hungry lines. Addicts to rehab. HIV tests for hookers. Tents and food for newly arrived. 911 for newly dead. Victory cheers for one who gets a degree or job. You don’t love this work but ask to belong. You’ve known what it is to disappear. You too have been lost in despair. Now, you are allowed to go home, then allowed to return to this work, and allowed not to love it again.
©2020 Nancy Huxtable Mohr
All rights reserved
Nancy Huxtable Mohr has a B.S. from Cornell University and California Teacher’s Credential from San Francisco State. She is currently in independent study at Stanford University and is a member of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. She has recently published in Cider Press Review, Birdland Journal, Mangrove, ZZYZZA, Blueline, Concho River Review, Avocet and other publications. She taught for fifteen years as member of California Poets in the Schools in private and public schools and the San Mateo County Jail. In 2018, Butternut Press published her book of poetry, The Well. Her work can be seen on her website.