Sestina: A Child Dreams

My daughter asked
Why we don’t help
the children
at the border. Our neighbors.
It’s complicated. Politicians tell lies.
They came for the American Dream.
 
It must seem like a bad dream
when little Lupita asks
for her mami y papi. Just lie
down on the ground. There’s no help.
Rely on your neighbor,
just another child.
 
But she’s just a child.
She doesn’t understand. She exchanged one bad dream
for another. She went to her neighbors,
a mixture of hope and fear, to ask
for help
but didn’t find an ally.
 
Asylum was just a lie,
even for the children
There was no intention to help.
The American Dream
is not for everyone who asks
just because they’re neighbors.
 
Is it like going into your neighbor’s
house without permission? She lies
in bed asking
more questions. My child,
go to sleep. Sweet dreams.
But she persists: Why don’t we help?
 
If my kids ever need help,
I tell them to run to the neighbor’s
because we’re living the American Dream
even if it’s based on lies.
I teach my children
They can achieve anything, just ask.
 
If we ask, don’t we all hope someone will help?
Our children, our neighbors,
we’re all allies trying to pursue our dreams.