Lexi (#BringLexiHome)

Legal papers litter the table,
the family huddles together in the living room.
It’s time to say goodbye.
There’s a desperate sucking of air
through tear-burdened throats
as they hug each other one last time.
A sibling hands her a teddy bear.
“We’ll get you back,”
her mother chokes on the words,
her eyes wide and wet.
“Don’t let them take me, Mommy!
“I don’t wanna go, please…”
Her dad scoops her up and kisses her,
breathing in her smell.
“I know, sweetheart,” he says, his voice shaking.
“We’ll get you back. I promise.
Be strong for me, okay?”
“Okay,” but the tears don’t stop.
He carries her to the door
she’s been in and out of most of her life,
only this time she might never come back in.
Her mother clutches her hand
as she leads her siblings behind.
Outside is a flag over the garage,
a crowd of protestors,
and a black car that will take her away.
Shutters snap as they walk under the flag,
her sister breaks away, screaming:
“No!”
Her mother holds her back with one arm,
she screams too:
“I love you, Lexi!”
There is no fear in her voice,
but it’s there, in her eyes.
The girl is strapped into the car with strangers.
Her small hands clutch at the bear.
Her father says goodbye through blurry eyes.
“We’ll fight for you, Lexi!”
They walk back under the red, white, and blue flag,
because this is America,
where 1.56% Choctaw blood
is more important than a family.

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