Refraction #2

A Man

goes before the judge
to make the case for Fatherhood.
The courtroom is stymied by the apparition.
Rosaries are clutched, prayers whispered.
Even the judge, in her cloak of indecision, leans back.
The mother is there, pushing against silence.
A thousand stories are exchanged.
From the disembodied mouths of the children.
In these halls the word love echoes like a myth.
As if years ago, in some distant land,
existed two birds, who tried forging themselves into one,
but wound up resentful
at the impermanent nature of flight.
Right now, the parents of 14,000 children in cages
still believe in such miracles.

From Some of the Light by Tim Z. Hernandez. Copyright © 2023 by Tim Z. Hernandez. Reprinted with the permission of Beacon Press.