70,000

70,000

by Carmen H Gray

Screen Shot 2019-11-12 at 8.17.04 AM.png

(art by children, ages 10 and 11, while staying at a respite center run by the Catholic church in McAllen, Texas)

70,000 is a neat number

Rounded up for sixty-nine thousand and something beyond fifty

Easily divisible by two

Until you keep dividing in half

Eventually you reach fractions of a whole

Those shards of whole parts

Are not just numbers

They are fractured pieces of a person’s soul

Disturbances in family fault lines

That refuse to lay dormant

You can see it in the drawings of the children

Who are crying, ¿Dónde está mi mamá?”

And in the exanimated eyes

That can no longer produce tears

Those quashed emotions inhabit

An exponential fallout

From this tidy number

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