January 3, 2019 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

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Wilda Morris




Only Two



Only two children have died, says the Congressman,

only two, as if it’s no big deal in the administration

of the self-proclaimed deal-maker. Only two.


But as a grandmother of fifteen, one of whom died,

I would never say, only one died. Only one,

as if it were not tragic enough to lose one.


No other child can replace the nieta

I called Sunshine, La Luz del Sol

as I rocked her and sang lullabies.


There is no other child in the world

I would have traded for her, no deal

I would have made to let her die,


no border I would not have crossed

with or without papers if I thought

I could save her smile, her giggles, her life.


Two children have died at the border,

two too many. Too many madres y padres,

too many abuelos y abuelas in grief


while the congressman washes his hands

and says, only two children died in custody

at the border. Only those two. No big deal.






Wilda Morris

Wilda Morris is Workshop Chair of Poets and Patrons and a former president of the Illinois State Poetry Society. For three years she was the Chair of the Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. Her poems have found homes in numerous anthologies, webzines, and print publications, including CalifragileThe Ocotillo Review, and Journal of Modern Poetry. She has won awards for formal poetry, free verse and haiku. Her second book of poems, Pequod Poems: Gamming with Moby-Dick, celebrating the 200th anniversary of Herman Melville, is scheduled for publication in 2019. Her poetry blog at wildamorris.blogspot.com provides a monthly contest for other poets.

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