Familiar, Familial Border

When do unattended-to childhood patterns
Turn away from shame and
Toward intentional tools of destruction
Requiring only a whispered demand to be 
handed the bleeding heart’s supply

They count on your sadness to
Fill their bottomless cup of gladness
And before you know it
You’ve been punched in the eye
Swallowing excuses, like in generations of reels
passed down

It is all a distraction, while
Drain pipes are inserted 
Behind your heart
Where the rainy day soul-juice pools

When does “They don’t know better” 
Become “Get off your ass and learn better,
I am no longer your supply?”

Upon my dreamland’s synthetic reflection
We can all agree on the natural disaster of a wounded child
But once you’re

Self-aware enough to manipulate the truth
Seeded enough to sprout a beard 
Your pride speaks like you have grown a pair

Don’t remain unattractive
Turn that testosterone
On yourself
And fight your demons
Like the Earth’s life depends on it
{because it actually does}
Until only humble, grateful, love is left

Find your gifted silver lining
Your everything within your nothing
Like the rest of us

No longer parade your prolonged adolescence
Like that other soldier’s purple heart
It is an insult to the asylum seekers of this day
and crushes the potential they hold

Our only supply left, to have faith in our faith
{yes, resistance is a form of faith}
You are no longer a childhood victim
You have chosen the plaque of ‘shameless scoundrel’

Imagine the energy harnessed
In transforming your self-indulgent scars
And taking your place
In the battlefield you know too well

Become a righteous role model
To the alien children of today
Crossing your oh too 
familiar, familial border 
Between what could be today’s here
And long ago’s hell



The featured image reads: “Children sleeping in crowded jail-like cells with strangers. Lights are on all the time, disrupted sleep, chilling cold, guards yelling or kicking them awake. This is unbelievable cruelty.”

The artwork was created by Marc Nelson for the INCREDIBLE Project Amplify.  The organization works to establish legal protections for children in government care so that the brutality discovered on the border in June never happens again.

There are opportunities for creatives, organizers, and others to offer their energy to this crowd-sourced project!



Hokis is an American poet of Armenian descent. She is Founder and Senior Editor of Headline Poetry & Press and a regular contributor to Reclamation Magazine. Hokis is widely published digitally and in print. Her poetic memoir "OnBecoming: Aesthetic Evolution of This Rising Ancestor" is available on Amazon or through your indie bookstore. For more, visit hokis.blog.

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