Poem: Helicopter Blades

Image source: Jeff Abbott/Al Jazeera

Helicopter Blades

by Tracy López

Like the China-made
Walmart-bought
LED star
atop the Christmas tree
put there in remembrance
of a mother and child
given a place to sleep
on a cold, holy night
The United States shined bright
across the border
giving off light,
but no warmth.

Giving off light,
filtered through
the ghost-like cloud
of dissipating tear gas.

Giving off light,
from houses beyond the border,
where men spit ethnic slurs
and sing Joy To the World
with the same mouth.

Giving off light,
beyond the sound
of helicopter blades
beating overhead,
helicopter blades that sound like
the helicopter blades
from the wars
back in Honduras
back in Nicaragua
back in Guatemala
back in El Salvador.

Helicopter blades
which led to
the massacre
and corruption,
and poverty,
and violence,
these refugees
called migrants
now flee,
with memories
from their childhood,
or stories from their parents,
about the sounds of
helicopter blades
that were paid for
by the United States
government.

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