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Weekly Poem: ‘Meditation on Living in the Desert No. 11’


Meditation on Living in the Desert No. 11

I am looking at a book of photographs.
The photographs document the exodus of Mexicans crossing the desert.
I am staring at the face of a woman who is more a girl than a woman.
She is handing her documents to a government official.

I know and you know and we all know that the documents are forged.
The official is not in the photograph.

Only the frightened eyes of the girl.


Benjamin Alire Saenz is a Chicano poet, novelist, professor and painter who lives near El Paso, Texas, just across the border from the Mexican town of Juarez. Much of his work addresses the land and people of the area. The NewsHour visited him recently to talk about his work — look for our profile of him in the coming days.

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