Freedom is a Fleeting Thing

for Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez, murdered by U.S. border patrol on May 23rd, 2018)

It is hard to imagine, 

Your face half dirt, half blood, 

Pressed against U.S. soil.  

The only way this land will claim our kind.  


This is what happens you see?  

The agent reminds the three survivors, 

As he places handcuffs on their brown, sun-scorched skin. 

A misdemeanor turned murder, 

When he refused to acknowledge  

That your eyes 

Held a story 

Many will never get to hear.  


Two weeks ago, you promised mamita 

A better life back home, 

Once you reached Virginia and your lover. 

On the television screen, 

Your mother begs for your body  

To be returned 

‘Where it belongs.’ 



The world mourned you. 


Still does. 

We all have moments of silence, 

When rage consumes us. 

I often wonder if our voices still have sound. 


Some days, 

When silence fills the air, 

I think about the children in cages, 

Their cries asking for any sign of familiarity, 

From two lands who cannot raise them to take flight. 

One they fled from, and the other only knows how to spit them back. 

Angelica Mercado-Ford is an artist, poet, and educator who was born in Jalisco, Mexico, grew up in Fremont, NE, and now resides in Sioux Falls, SD with her wife Olivia, and their two mini dachshunds Rio & Sol. She earned her BA in Fine Arts from Briar Cliff University. She is now enrolled in a Master of Education in Teaching program at the University of Sioux Falls. Both Mercado-Ford’s artwork and poetry have been used as educational tools to draw awareness to topics such as immigration, feminism, diversity, and cultural awareness. Her work has been published in the Briar Cliff Review, Cream City Review, Acentos Review, Roanoke Review, Glass Poetry Press, Z Publishing, among others.