By Sara Hinojosa

The trip to the border is punishing

Months of blistering feet

Scorching heat

Deciding who I can trust

Of all the new faces that change everyday

Not sure where I’ll find my next meal

Or where I’ll lay my head for restless sleep

My grandparents have been leading the journey

Since my mother was kidnapped

But staying in Colombia means

We all would die

So I find myself in an endless cycle at the border

Without a mother

It’s all I can do to keep from wondering

Is she safe

Is she alive

Is she suffering

Court dates are months apart

And it seems my chances are none

I’m being tossed

Back and forth

City to town

Town to city

Apathetic court rooms and judges to match

Taken for everything I have

With no end in sight

The idea of crossing with the coyotes tangles in my mind

More blisters

Rationing boiling water from plastic milk jugs

Snakes under every stone

Unavoidable, piercing cactus

Ever-present thirst



The entire desert prepares for the kill

Those chances of success are greater than this

Never-ending waiting game at the border

But the risks are deadly

If I stay

I die

If I go

I die

At night I lie awake

Dreaming of my life in America

Of surfing in California

Of Hollywood

Of American high school

I wonder if my life will be anything like

What I’ve seen in the movies


Nothing is familiar

And I haven’t stayed in one place

Long enough to process any sense of loss

For my mother

For the life that I left

For family still suffering

For my country at war

I think only of what’s ahead

My own American dream

Distracts from my current reality

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