travelers who brave
currents, coyotes, ICE
thirsty, starving, seeking
the fat land to the north

soldiers in a war not their own
splayed on the battlefield, mouths agape
crying for water, water, water
and the soft sighing dream of home

at the bus station in Brownsville
volunteers await the broken troops
with sacks of apples, doritos, twinkies, a drink
the travelers never arrive

end of shift the volunteers
give the leftovers to homeless men
who open the bag like christmas
today it’s a juice box, a little debbie swiss roll

the homeless go to a shelter for the night
the volunteers return to their hotel
the travelers lay where they were stopped
and there remain, remain, remain, remain

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About the Author

Ruth Nasrullah is a freelance journalist who has been published in Azizah, Religion News Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine, The Trek, Toastmaster, Houston Chronicle, The Lily, MuslimMatters, Islamic Horizons, and more. In 2021, she won the Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member award from the Society of Professional Journalists. She has an MA in journalism from Emerson College and an MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College.

Ruth Nasrullah
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