Teen Atlas

For The DREAMERS

I see his pained face,
Sweat beading at his temples
And muscles rippling under his
Navy blue hoodie.
Impractical fashion to hoist
Such a load but, then,
When I was his age I wore
What I wanted, too.
And now he’s stuck in that
Heat colluding with the gravity of his
Burden to force the clothing to
Stick to his skin. I’m slightly better off in
My moisture-wicking material,
But my Burden still chafes.

His eyes, brown and
Warm and worn,
Meet mine.

I’m sorry, brother,
For the yoke on you. We, your elders,
Should have known -
Should have done - 
Better.
We should have raised our voice
And when that failed, Hell.
For you. 
For us.
Your shackle was forged by our
Silence and your lot was cast by
Our red hands.

And as we labor here, 
Fates tethered,
I pray our revolution
Brings liberty before
Your young eyes fade.

 US-Mexico Border from the Mexican side. Tijuana. November 2016. Credit: AJ Joven

US-Mexico Border from the Mexican side. Tijuana. November 2016. Credit: AJ Joven