Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
112 Miles from Karnes Immigrant Detention Center, Karnes City, Texas

One comment

I think you know, but please don’t mention it,
the smell of wolf willow, chokecherry, sweet broom,
of caged children in foil blankets on cement.

Exhausted women offer empty breasts to babies,
sleep restless as they dream of blood-soaked rooms,
as I think you know—but please don’t mention it.

My baby, practice Handel; I’ll show you where your bow slid.
Tonight I’ll hold you, shivering in your night-dark room,
knowing caged children sleep in foil blankets on cement.

One young mother begged all the way to the bridge.
She was thrown into the river’s gloom.
I think you know, but please don’t mention it.

At home, you drew your bow across the bridge.
In camp, they all got sick: poor food, the cold,
the caged children in foil blankets on cement.

She told the officers within a week she would be killed.
What were we doing at that hour, me and you
as caged children slept in foil blankets on cement?
I think you know, but please don’t mention it.


Lisa L. Moore’s poems have recently appeared in Tinderbox Poetry Journal, White Wall Review, Anchor Magazine, and Ostrich Review. A professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Texas, she lives in Austin with her wife, their two teenage sons, and the boys’ grandmother. Her poems have been recognized by the Museum of Fine Arts-Houston Ekphrastic Poetry Prize and as Split This Rock Poem of the Week.


More from



So powerful. Indeed, what are we doing, me and you, as caged children sleep in foil blankets on cement? Thank you for mentioning it. B.L.
Comments are now closed for this piece.