Rushing Rio Grande

Rushing Rio Grande by Greg Powell

Dad to diaper-
Daughter death
Hug drowned in
America. The decline
From Hell pit to
Shit hole. What
Was that last hug
Like Rushing Rio
Grande? Was it
The final bye like
Terminal expiration
In hospital without
The pause to grieve.
Or was there time:
Grinding slowly, tears
And river, screams stifled
Burbling speech silenced
Muted by lungs filling.
Like sponges. river god
Consuming offerings
Of toxic plastic trash
And dad and diaper girl
Cuddling and bloated
Amid deformed fish
And nation

But in my
Imagination raging.
Dad reaches for shore
With diaper daughter
Hanging like cape
Of depleted superhero
Reaching for shore for
Gods promise for life
Grasping and clawing
In mud breathing in
Muddy waters and then
Nothing, but a family
Photo to curse the land
Dad and baby girl face
sunk in river.
And what, I wonder
As I ponder walls
And barbed wire,
Concentration camps,
The damned
of a God damned
Nation, and of its flag,
Flowing in Ill breeze,
Like river of bloated
Mamas and dads and
Diaper babies. Planted
In mud.
What fruit
Shall be birthed
From this?

GRAPHIC CONTENT – The bodies of Salvadoran migrants, Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his nearly 2-year-old daughter Valeria, lie on the bank of the Rio Grande in Matamoros, Mexico, Monday, June 24, 2019, after they drowned trying to cross the river to Brownsville, Texas. Martinez’ wife, Tania told Mexican authorities she watched her husband and child disappear in the strong current. Photo by Julia Le Duc for Associated Press.

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