There was no beauty
living there
just idling trains
and Nazi terror
death’s immigrant
cadaverous frames
who found their rest
in massive graves

A cutting wind
bleak bitter cold
no warmth to find
no hope to hold
just fantasies
of transit dreams
in huddled sleep
their lone relief

Near frozen hands
some gangrene feet
they begged their God
for food to eat
the putrid smoke
and stench of death
a blend of hate
and pestilence

And now we say
oh that was then
yet teeming ghosts
move on again
in semi trucks
with children bands
that traffickers
sell off like trash

a mothers son
who is her world
a father’s heart
his little girl
it’s raging on
but hard to see
this vile abuse
in secrecy

So are their lives
less valuable
when we ignore
these vulnerable
whose souls have lost
one sacredness
this gift from God
their innocence

A poem by Greg Nelson
© 2020 by Poppie’s Hallel (BMI. Admin. by Amplified Administration)


  1. Sigh. I was thinking just today of Emma Lazarus’ poem and how the legacy of our country has morphed. Not just from the last administration. But our whole moral center of so much avarice. How we read “the poor you have always with you” with an air of dismissal or nonchalance. Like someone speeding through town mowing down children and pedestrians with a Jesus bumper sticker on our car.


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