The Raids (non-fiction poem)

By Oday Guerrero


Oday, is an immigrant rights activist in Fresno, CA. She is the founder of Fresno Immigrant Youth in Action and is pushing for a humane immigration reform.


People disappearing from Fresno and Madera like quicksand
Their existence unknown
Stagnant stories without faces or names

Invisible terrorists engulfing our streets
Swallowing energy, spirits, life
Bringing back memories from the past

Pangs of flashbacks circulate around me
My throat inflamed
I close my eyes and I picture you smiling
I shouldn’t have screamed at you
We’re dancing at my friend’s wedding
I shouldn’t have cursed your existence
We’re walking towards the gates to Disneyland
I shouldn’t have slammed the door in your face
We’re driving in your Black Mustang
I should have answered the phone

Your smile diminishes
You let go of my hand
They take you away

I try to grab on to your voice
But they handcuff you and label you a criminal
They shove you in a van
I never see you again

I return to the present
The fear has already spread like a virus
The next victims are being shoved and taken to who knows where

People are asking if the raids are real
The stitches have never healed
People are asking what should be done
I begin to sob uncontrollably
I don’t know how to answer their question
I always loved you and I always will

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