Also They Are Families Too

In the apartment

there is smoke.  Margarita comes to sit

and packs feet into shoes.  Time for

the next shift.  It’s original

sin if you believe it.


They have begun to round us up,

vienen para nosotros, in Jersey, in LA nos esperan

en Wal-Mars, escuelas and hospitals.

We won’t be

there to pick you up

in our arms today hold

your sister’s hand, bring her home.


Wind blows the bedroom curtains

apart.        The sky divides into blue and white.

Three birds nest in the tallest

winter roble.

Two cannot fit

in so narrow kitchen.   She thought

she had tiled the walls with art.

Alicia Askenase is a writer, educator, and museum docent. She is the author of The Luxury of Pathos (Texture Press), Shirley Shirley (Sona Books), Suspect, and Cover. Her poetry has appeared most recently in the anthologies, Not Our President and New Work by Philadelphia Poets.