My great-aunt saw people arrested
on the streets of Paris. She fled.
Neighbors have signs on their lawns,
“Hate Has No Home Here,” in our town
where a father drops his daughter off at school
and men from ICE lead him away.
He will not be going home—
home is not Indonesia
where they plan to deport him,
hasn’t been for twenty-five years,
home is here, Highland Park, New Jersey,
his wife and kids, a small frame house
in our small-town mash-up of races
and continents and persuasions,
newcomers and old-timers, among us
a few Indonesian refugees sheltering
in a local church—it’s a good town
to live in, raise kids, walk the streets,
unless they come for you. So folks watch
over the church—surveillance of our borders,
shield justice from the law. When armed men come
for someone else, someday they may come for you.
Susman, a Kingston resident, has written six poetry collections. She teaches poetry writing through the Osher Institute of Rutgers University, and is a member of the Cool Women Poets. This is her second year screening poetry for the U.S. 1 Summer Fiction issue.