Monday, May 22, 2017

Charles Rammelkamp


I didn’t even know my legal status
until I tried to enlist in the marines
when I was eighteen;
I couldn’t do it without a Social Security card.
I came to the United States when I was three,
my mom and my dad illegals.
Now I’m living in a sanctuary city.

My friend Karina, from Chihuahua?
She got her degree in biochemistry, Arizona State,
wants to be a pharmacist,
but now she might be separated
from her three American-born kids,
sent back to Mexico, to get her green card.

In school we read about the Jews
hiding in German-occupied Eastern Europe.
Gentiles who aided them faced capital punishment
if outed and captured.
Israel described these non-Jews
who risked their lives during the Holocaust
to save Jews from extermination
khasidi umot ha olam.

Karina’s afraid if she goes back
she could be there for years getting her papers
while her kids grow up in Sedona motherless.

Charles reads "Righteous Among the Nations":

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Charles confesses: "Among the many disturbing things about the Trump administration is its cruel immigration policy based on a racist xenophobia. Now, the bigot Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, the Attorney General named after a Confederate general, has threatened to withhold money from cities that refuse to detain people based on their immigration status but without a criminal warrant. This is the real crime, the Trump administration’s policy. This is a Shanda."

CHARLES RAMMELKAMP's collection of dramatic monologues about the life and career of William Jennings Bryan, American Zeitgeist, was published May 2017 by Apprentice House.


charriss said...

This poem is wonderful in many ways, not the least of which being its huge relevance to today, meaning this very, actual, by-the-date day, when Trump tucked a prayer into the Wall. I guess hypocrisy is not a crime by law but it must be by the Five Books. The author reads the poem superbly--a huge plus.

Nancy Scott said...

If someone from Mexico comes here and gets a good education, there is a real possibility for a decent job and way of life in Mexico. Why not introduce the kids to their heritage. Certainly America is no longer the only and best place to raise kids. When I was able to raise my kids abroad, I became so enamoured by the idea of remaining there, I never wanted to come back to America and that was many years before we lost our moral compass. Of course, many who are deported have not had the privilege of advanced education, but their plight is not the focus of this poem.