Some rivers shift course, but
I stand firm, a nexus of rejection,
that line denoting separation of north
and good, evil and south, dark and
white. Welcoming no one, I stand
guard, opposing all with my flag
of diminishment. Squint, and you
still can’t see me. Your bare feet
won’t stir my dust. I am nowhere,
but remain here — that feeling of
prideful despair, strong, resolute,
inflexible foe to all who dare cross.
“Self-Portrait as Border” first appeared in October 2018 in Minute Magazine. Many thanks to the editors for taking my poem.
I’ve just found, and followed, David Meeker’s impressive blog, 20th Century Protest Poetry: Poems That Make a Difference. Scrolling down the home page, you’ll find relevant poems, including Carolyn Forche’s “The Colonel,” Roethke’s “The Geranium,” and Nazim Hikmet’s “Letters from a Man in Solitary,” preceded by brief introductory essays. I wish I’d found this sooner, but will make up for lost time.