casting stones

church window with stained glass

casting stones

For Maribel Trujillo-Diaz, deported last week to Mexico

In the dark before dawn the birds sang as
Maribel was snatched off the streets by ICE agents—
her four American-born children,
ages 3, 10, 12, and 14,
never got to say goodbye to their mother

In Fairfield she worked processing chicken parts
primary breadwinner
grueling work—uncomplaining,
she paid taxes, went to church,
made a family, made a simple life…

now her deportation is
breaking news,
breaking my heart

newsfeed comments roll past
smelling as I imagine chicken innards on a
conveyor belt might smell,
gagging—

“Go home to YOUR county and think about
what you are going to do with the rest of your life,”

says the red-headed woman whose profile picture is a
parti-colored “Kindness Matters” meme

“She caused the breakup of her family when she
decided to live her criminal lifestyle,”
says another woman grinning in full Irish regalia,
forgetting about her own ancestors who fled from famine,
many of them illegally

“The blame is solely on her,”
says the beefy red-faced man
whose facebook page overflows with
snaps of him and his wife and three kids
at an Easter-egg hunt after church

“If she was in fear she should have
gotten help long before now,”
chides the woman whose profile picture
says “Happy Easter!” superimposed over
a closeup of her kissing her blonde toddler

“Why does this get so much attention?
Is she the only mother that has
Ever been sent back???” asks the woman
who’s also proudly posted she’s
FINALLY past level 65 on Candy Crush

“The law outweighs compassion,”
says Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones

‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
says the second commandment

In Fairfield tonight, four children cry for their mother,
faraway now
who did not get to tell them goodbye

‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,”
says the second commandment, again, falling on deaf ears

ears closed hearts closed
as tight as their bibles

closed to Maribel,
closed to Maribel’s children,
closed to mercy
closed to compassion
closed to loving their neighbors

and the closed ones
harden, harden, harden
as they
scroll Facebook,
troll newsfeeds
play games—
casting stones
pass the hours

, , , , ,

  1. #1 by Dawn D on April 23, 2017 - 8:15 am

    Thank you. Beautifully expressed.
    Thank you again.
    Really

    • #2 by Elaine Olund on April 24, 2017 - 10:24 am

      Thank you, Dawn, for reading. I appreciate it so much!

  2. #3 by Ellen Austin-Li on April 23, 2017 - 9:56 am

    What have we become? I am heartsick over this story. I have learned the hard way that reading the comments’ section these days is like descending into hell. It’s shocking to learn how much cold-heartedness exists in this country.

    • #4 by Elaine Olund on April 24, 2017 - 10:23 am

      It’s pure fear, I think? Being controlled by fear makes people angry and mean. Like the way it makes dogs that are controlled that way. It isn’t their nature, but if you bend them that way–they have to adapt somehow? It is disheartening–and the worst is how people dress their hate in religious clothes so they can quiet their (I imagine?) screaming inner voices? I think about this all the time…not sure how to ease it, I just write…

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