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Gustavo Gac-Artigas

A New Caravan Advances Towards the United States

Never had I lived a saddest day in October.

Wounded, with weary feet, smelly shoes, proud eyes, a child plunged into the caravan of migrants that hearing the voice of the authority ordering them to stop, halted their walk.

Far away, in Brooklyn, my granddaughter awaited to play with the brave Honduran, Guatemalan, Mexican boy, that brave boy, who, smiling, with verve, would slide down the slide, their iridescent smiles joining in the air, iridescent like the sunflowers, iridescent like hope, iridescent like despair in that month of October, the saddest I have ever lived.

On a bridge over the river Suchiate, between Guatemala and Mexico, they blocked them the way, in Agua Caliente, between Honduras and Guatemala, they blocked them the way, on the border between Mexico and the United States, the borderline between the rational and the irrational that define the times we live, they blocked them the way.

Never had I lived a saddest day in October.

The proud eyes lost their luster to the opacity of fear, the tired feet stopped in the middle of the bridge, a few meters from the path that, like a feathered serpent unrolled next to the Beast heading north.

A girl, now a woman, hid a red rose between her legs, while sore tried to walk the other half of the bridge thinking that maybe tomorrow there would not be another sad day in October as the one she had just lived.

Under the bridge of the river Suchiate, a mass of dispossessed, the wretched of the earth, tried to cross the river border on an inflatable raft as the air escaped whistling a sad melody.

Floating back to the south, a smelly shoe, solitary, disappeared dragged by the water while hopelessness slowly s into the river, in this, a sad day in October, the saddest I have ever lived.

Far away, here in the North, on the other side of the border, at nightfall, people were locking the door of their houses with double keys, fearing that despair could arrive at dawn.

Gustavo Gac-Artigas, Chilean Award-Wining Author and playwright, corresponding member of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language-ANLE (Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española)

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