You’ve polished your shoes again and again
You could see your reflection in them hours ago
The iron has been steaming since you walked in the room
Anything at this point is overkill
If the shirt were any crisper, it could cut
The tension, the air of uncertainty
That’s been hanging around us for months
Ever since we knew we’d be here in Juarez
To be approved for your visa, leaving in joyful tears
Reuniting with your family ten years later
Or to be denied, moving to separate countries,
me on the right side
of the border while you stayed on the wrong one
Separated by borders created out of arrogance
Man-made lines with the potential to destroy families
Like ours, star-crossed lovers of our time
Because you left ten years ago, branded “illegal”
By people who have nothing better to do than hate
To follow your heart to me
Because even though you work harder than anyone I know
Your passport is the wrong color,
Just like your skin in this “post-racial America”
I look over the bridge, down into the crowd
Willing you to come out, to give me good news
Reality crashes all around me, throngs of families
Through tears of joy, of despair as they see their heart
Filled with joy or crushed with disappointment
I look over the bridge, silent prayers cascading
From my lips to the heavens
Begging God for a life with you,
A life filled with love, with friendship, with babies
Can you hear me?
Do you feel the angels I am calling to your side?
Are you cocooned by them?
I look over from the bridge, and I see you
And you turn to me.
Elizabeth M. Villalta is a first generation Salvadoran-American educator and writer. She grew up in Sanford, North Carolina, two blocks from the library, where she spent every afternoon. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from North Carolina State University and a Master's degree in Education from Southern Methodist University. In 2013, she moved to Dallas, TX to join the Dallas-Fort Worth Teach for America corps.In her free time, Elizabeth spends time with her family, friends, and dogs, travels, writes, and reads.
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