China cabinets

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Editor’s note: This poem is part of our #SpreadTheWord poem of the week series, featuring work by Chicago artists based on Injustice Watch reporting. This poem was inspired by a 2017 story by Jeanne Kuang, Will border wall stop illegal immigration? Not hardly, report says. For more poetry in this series, click here.

Glory Blankenship

She told me that growing up

Grief was a China Cabinet

And in her neighborhood

Everybody ate off plastic

Because it was safer for the children

And you couldn’t always trust guests

But after the dishes were washed and put away

Sometimes Mama would lay her hands on the
Red-stained wood once green with life

And a lone tear would float gentle like Moses
Toward the palace

A dangerous act of Faith and a small step
Toward Freedom.

Glory Blankenship is a community developer interested in cultivating collective resilience and hope through work, writing, and living as a true neighbor. She is the outreach coordinator for Purchased: Not for Sale in Shreveport, Louisiana, where she fights human trafficking and oppression on a daily basis.