Caravan of Conscience

This poem is about the so-called caravan that is stuck somewhere on the US/Mexican border as I write. We do not choose where we are born, nor to which parents, nor in which community we are nurtured. Some of us are lucky enough to be born into a relatively privileged, peaceful and prosperous environment. Before we judge others, we should consider our good or bad fortune and that of our ancestors. Those humans who are struggling to improve their lives, and the lives of their families, are doing exactly what all of our ancestors have done. Whatever solution to the problems of migration we may support, to vilify them is, therefore, to vilify ourselves or our ancestors. Those of us, like Donald Trump, who vilify these migrants are unworthy of respect but also deserve our pity.

Caravan of Conscience


A caravan approaching the United States borders

Of migrants assuming right to be on their side

Some called them malignant – Murderers! Marauders!

Talk of infection, invasion – their lives vilified

If invasion it was, then these invaders were heroic

Unpaid, unarmed and undernourished

The spirits of these so-called smugglers seemed stoic

Not criminals escaping to avoid being punished


Apparently migrating to take other workers’ employment

Yet described as shirkers who would live off the state

Who must be faced with a massive army deployment

Southern Americans not accepting pre-destined fate

Outnumbered many thousands to one

By the population they supposedly seek to invade

Families forced to suffer in the sun

A decision, we were told, they had recklessly made


Then, suddenly, they disappeared from the news

Though televised throughout the mid-term election

When platforms were given to extremist views

And facts broadcast of the media’s selection

Now voting done and counting finished

The electors, they assumed, must no longer care

As the interest of most politicians diminished

This caravan of conscience could be lost somewhere


But then, weeks later, it re-appeared on the news

Though their journey still not at its true end

Intrigued by reports of local, hostile views

Flown fast, the film crews they’d been reluctant to send

Sent south to show the slightest of strife

As the president flew to a burnt out city

To prove his concern for the sanctity of life

As, for the caravan of conscience, he showed no pity