The Journey

Young eyes reflect the desert sky
I look at you and wonder why
For what I was born to, you would die
To have the freedoms I live by
Hungry, tired, scared and parched
How many miles have you marched?

A desolate day is slowly dying
A child stands confused and crying
For a safe spot to rest, he’s sadly vying
Trying to sleep amongst anxious sighing
From way up high a glaring moon
Witnesses you shivering all alone

Heart beating fast, nowhere to run
Fearing your journey is already done
Terrified of looming man with a gun
Pointed at you, but what have you done?
Fleeing abuse, you’re nobody’s son
Can’t believe this is happening
Dogs at your heels barking and snapping

Detention camp, bleak and dark
Encircled by wire, cold and stark
In the distance dogs howl and bark
Drugs the target of canine and narc
Cries of others assault your ears
Children enduring beyond their years

How desperate were you to come this way?
Alone and ripped from family
With their lives, how many will pay
To try to seek a better day
Gangs and violence, you’ve seen your share
Now desperately hoping that someone will care.   

Wendi Ben-Ari is a volunteer independent Child Advocate for the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights in New York. Outside of her work with the Young Center, Wendi volunteers with the Center for the Integration and Advancement of New Americans as an ESL teacher, which was her career before she retired from the NYC Department of Education. Wendi enjoys teaching art classes to children, photography, writing and traveling. She also records a podcast called Mental Health Road Trip.

Maddie Witters