comply flee or die by John Grochalski

rafael says
these days you either
comply flee or die
leaving el salvador was the hardest thing
he ever had to do
where he and his wife had a livestock business
and two kids on track for college
leaving their home, their family and their friends
because the local gang
wanted their son for a drug mule
then beat him up when he refused
because the local gang
wanted their ten year-old daughter for a wife
because they said they’d kill them
if they didn’t turn over their kids
rafael says,
the gang put the dead body of a boy
in front of their home to show that they weren’t joking around
so they went north with only what they could carry
hit the packed migrant shelters in tapachula
near the guatemalan border
but still the gang tracked them down
so they moved on toward the boarder
rafael says,
these days you don’t go it alone
you travel as families
sometimes up to fifteen at a time
these days you’d rather put up with america
and its racism and its walls and its donald trump
and its patriots waving flags at busloads of your kids
telling them to go back home
because back home to what?
police informants and the violence
your boy turned into a drug mule or killed
and your daughter gang raped in a metal shed
your spouse shot dead in the street
like it just happened to fatima
rafael says,
this is a refugee crisis
and you don’t migrate to america now
for the dream, man
rafael says,
you do it for your kids
you do it for your life.

 

 

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