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  • Jennifer Torres Alcántara


If I wanted to learn,

about their journey here.

I would just

look at their shoes.

One twelve year old,

had clean, beautiful shoes


she got to ride in a car

most of the journey.

A seven year old,

had shoes with holes on the toes,

worn out soles,

and a smell that lingered

long after I threw them

in the washing machine.

She had walked most of the way.

Holding the stroller handle

of her 3 year old brother,

while her grandma pushed

the whole journey.

All of the shoes,


came to me

without shoelaces.

Stripped away by ICE

at the border,

just empty lace holes,

stripped of their laces,

but not their dignity.

by Jennifer Torres Alcántara

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