The crisis at the border where Trump has sanctioned children of immigrants to be torn from their parents and then caged is horrifying. Trump has backed an approach advanced by a white supremacist on his staff, and members of his administration are trying to spin it every which way including absurd statements trying to lay blame on Democrats – sooo ironic since (a) Repbulicans control congress and (b) Trump could end the practice immediately with the stroke of a pen.
Of course, in the mid-1800s similar Trumpian arguments were made to rationalize and justify comparable appalling practices of slave owners and slave traders when they would deliberately split up slave families. Emmett Lee Dickinson (Emily Dickinson’s third cousin, twice removed – at her request) was shocked and appalled by the practice, and he wrote “As children bid their moms good-bye” (below on the left). His poem inspired third cousin Emily to pen her poem “As children bid the guest good-night" (below on the right).
By Emmett Lee Dickinson:
As children bid their moms good-bye,
And then resultant caged,
May powers raise up in one voice
To stop the bigots’ rage.
As children whimper when they wake,
Wary their parents mourn,
May powers from a hundred lips
Bring sanity again.
By Emily Dickinson:
As children bid the guest good-night,
And then reluctant turn,
My flowers raise their pretty lips,
Then put their nightgowns on.
As children caper when they wake,
Merry that it is morn,
My flowers from a hundred cribs
Will peep, and prance again.