El Refugio, Texas

El Refugio, Texas
by Lisa Moore

His ten-year-old body was cut, she said, drugs pushed
into the opening. Then he was sold
across the border. Now he’s on our soil,
one of sixty thousand waiting to be rolled
to the next 21-day-destination, trailer park,
air base, campground before it gets too cold.

My body is an opportunity to breathe, to walk,
to trim my nails. My heart has this chance
to break with sorrow. On the table in front of me
as I write, popcorn, cashews, the romance
of plump blueberries. If only I could give
this food to the hungry. But of course I can.

What is needed? Cash, medicine, a remedy
for well-founded fear, foster family for a child
now chewing on a shoe. Heather leaves town Monday.
Refugee Resettlement, where she’s on file
with her EMT credentials, can’t tell her where
she’ll be, just that she’ll be gone a while.



Lisa L. Moore is a member of the Friends Meeting of Austin and Squaw Valley Community of Writers. She is the author or editor of four scholarly books, and her poems have appeared in Ostrich Review, Lavender Review, Sinister Wisdom, Codex Journal, and other journals. Her writing has been awarded the Lambda Literary Foundation Award, the Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award, the Art/Lines Juried Poetry Prize, and has been recognized as a Split This Rock Poem of the Week.

Photo by Waqas Bhatti (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.