American to the Core

I stand alone, disoriented,
penniless, displaced —
a victim of the vilest storm
the Texas coast has faced.

Though long before the floods begin
receding, men with boats
arrive en masse to rescue any
living thing that floats.

Unnumbered benefactors give
their money, strength, and speed
with no concern for politics,
age, gender, race, or creed.

And Mattress Mack’s the first to offer
shelter to the horde
of sudden homeless families
the Lakeway Church ignored.

With H-E-B employees working
endless double shifts
to haul supplies and open doors,
the city’s spirit lifts.

My mother died a year ago.
I cannot find my dad
to share the agony of losing
everything we had.

All thoughts of going back to school
are shoved aside for now.
The only thing that matters is
surviving this, but how?

I’ve never known another way
of life but hand in glove
with fellow Texans honoring
this country that we love.

I’ve never held a higher goal
than study, work, and strive
to gain my legal status
by the time I’m twenty-five.

Another dream is shattering,
all hope has been aborted.
The news arrives from Washington:
“Prepare to be deported.”


cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren, 2017


Image Source This photo is actually one of the FEMA rescuers, who could just as easily be a DREAMer.

View discussion on this poem.

Bookmark the permalink.