Court of Empire

Featured image is the painting “The Laocoön” by El Greco 1610-1614

August 18, 2020

I wrote the following poem in 2018.

Court of Empire

Oh shining City on the Hill,

You must know by now

the price for a seat on the Court of Empire

is paid in the brown skins of refugees

and the bones of their children which lie

bleaching in the Sonoran sun.

The mothers and fathers carry their little ones, anyway –

this crossing means they must travel at night,

they walk with care,

to escape the gaze of El Pozolero

they risk all through darkness and death.

In the day, they take their rest at churches

hidden in the creosote scrub

and receive the manna

left by Samaritans.

Food cache

(body of Christ, the bread of Heaven)

and water jug

(blood of Christ, the cup of Salvation)

gathered and prepared for those

(suffer the little children to come unto Me)

who journey to reach the promised land.

When these oases are found by Pharaoh’s long arm

border agents pour out the water

and trample the food.

We all must face these facts tonight

face something dark tonight

go down into the abyss tonight —

(Lord, I am not ready to receive you…)

We’re all facing something dark tonight,

facing facts tonight,

going into the abyss

tonight –

(say the word, and I shall be healed.)

Portulaca of the Ancestors by Michele Montserrat

2 thoughts on “Court of Empire

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