T'was The Weeks Before Christmas
T’was The Weeks Before Christmas
By Bill Dahl
Copyright © 2006
Note: This poem is written for the infants, children, teens, young adults and their families that my wife and I have had the privilege to live life with in Santa Ana, CA.
T’was the weeks before Christmas
And all through this nation
Not a fingers been lifted,
To address the injustice of undocumented immigration.
The obsession at the moment, is on the fear of terror,
Lost in the madness is our duty to make life a bit fairer.
While millions of immigrant families live and work scared,
Hoping they’ll awaken some day in a nation that cared.
The children of undocumented immigrants are all snuggled in their beds,
While visions of deportation dance in their heads.
No stockings are hung by any chimney anywhere,
They can’t afford socks, as employment opportunities are gray-market and rare.
Momma doesn’t own a “kerchief,” and daddy has no cap,
We sleep two in each bunk bed, even when we nap.
We live in high- density apartments,
There’s a constant din of traffic noise and clatter
It would take a lot more than a herd of Reindeer
To rouse our family to go out and see what’s the matter.
In our neighborhood if we hear something loud, like a crash
We dive for cover on the floor in a flash,
We have bars on our windows, no shutters or sash.
The moonlight illuminates the thugs, on the corners below
They never go away, just blend into the shadows they know.
When what to my broken heart did appear?
The realization that we’ve been ignored, for a whole ‘nother year.
As infants we came,
In the arms of mom and dad across the border.
No Child Left Behind?
Can someone please resolve this unjust disorder?
In my neighborhood, when you see a car drive erratically,
A driver who’s speeding real quick.
“Dive for cover! It’s a drive-by in progress!”
It’s surely not some fat bearded white guy named “Saint Nick.”
Our President proclaims, “No child left behind!”
If he came to our barrio, we would ask if he’s deaf, dumb and blind.
If he took time to meet me, my family and folks of our kind,
He’d see the exceptions that this slogan treats so unkind.
Today I woke up, to the sound of my mother’s scream.
This is no exaggeration. This was no dream.
My father was unconscious, he was motionless and looked lost.
He hadn’t had his insulin, because of the cost.
My hope is some day soon,
Our country will confront this ongoing shame.
We need responsible leadership, I can call them by name;
"Now, Bush! Now, Cheney! Now, Pelosi and Clinton!
On, Reid! On Biden! On Villaraigosa and Obama!
To the floor in House! To the Senate roll call!
Do the right thing! Dash away this shame that casts this great pall!
Demonstrate to the world we mean it when we say, “Liberty and Justice for ALL!”
Just as the winds disperse pollution from America’s skies,
These leaders have the power, to wipe the tears from millions of eyes.
I dream of the day, when truth replaces sound bites and lies.
When half-baked appeasements give way to the freedom we must realize.
The day when up to the Hilltop, our leaders will fly
With comprehensive legislation, forget that St. Nicholas guy.
And then, in a twinkling, you’ll hear from our heart.
This flag I have pledged all these years, has been my only home from the start.
Please, no more prancing and pawing, yet another legislative spoof.
Let’s resolve this issue head-on, instead of wandering around on the roof.
I envision the day, as I’m turning around,
Tapping on my shoulder is President Bush, without a sound.
He is dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
His cowboy hat and clothes are all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of legislation he has flung on his back,
He asks me for a pen, as he’s opening his knapsack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
He smirked and chuckled when he said,
“Lame duck? I’ll show those Democrats: Reid, Biden, Hillary, Obama and Kerry!”
His drawl was clearly Texan, sporting a cowboy-like bow,
Dick Cheney stood behind him, his face, white as snow;
A ballpoint pen Bush held tight in his teeth,
There was a halo that encircled his head like a wreath;
Cheney had a broad face and a rotund round belly,
That shook, as he stood in our doorway, like a nervous bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, not at all glad to see ya.
He recoiled for a moment when momma offered him a tortilla.
President Bush and I laughed when we saw this,
Cheney really didn’t know what to think,
“Are you really going to sign this executive order George?”
President Bush looked up, and gave me a wink.
“I’m sick of the bickering. It’s time to do the right thing.
Barbara reminded me that No Child Left Behind,
Includes those brought here illegally as infants. How could our nation be so unkind?
To overlook these innocent victims you’d have to be out of your mind!”
“The dialogue in our Congress,
Focused on guest workers and building the fence.
What about the fate of all these innocent children?
How could America be so hard-hearted and dense?”
With a quick glance and a flick of his pen,
”Yes I am Dick,” “this is how this term in Congress will end.”
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
“Amnesty for the children!” he said with a smirk.
“Forgive my friend. Dick, sometimes he’s a jerk”
And laying his finger to the side of his nose,
To the TV cameras he saluted as he rose;
He sprang to his feet, to Carl Rove gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like fuzz atop a thistle.
I heard him exclaim, as the motorcade drove out of sight,
"Felice Navidad to all, and to all a goodnight!"
Note: This poem is written for the infants, children, teens, young adults and families that my wife and I have had the privilege to live life with in Santa Ana, CA.
About the Author:
Bill Dahl, is a freelance writer and social justice advocate. Contact Bill at: email@example.com or see his website at http://www.theporpoisedivinglife.com For the past fifteen years, Bill and his wife have been called to work with the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized as volunteer community youth workers. Bill is published in numerous professional publications, magazines, websites, journals, newspapers and newsletters. Bill and his family make their home in central Oregon.
Copyright © 2006 by Bill Dahl. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author. All rights reserved. Rights for publishing this poem, in part or its entirety, in other languages, audio and any other form are contracted to Bill Dahl.
Requests for permission to make copies of or reprint any part of the work should be mailed to: Bill Dahl, P.O. Box 2308 Redmond, OR 97756.