Ross Knapp’s poem Escapism appeared here in April 2015.
A Man on the Metro
By Ross Knapp
A man I met on the metro
He told me a story
He has told no one before
….Not his friends or coworkers.
He came here from Colombia,
….His ancestral village
Was ravaged by cocaine kingpins
….Who came in broad daylight
Took any valuables or food they found
….And burned his home to the ground.
He watched his wife and daughter
….Tortured, raped, and slaughtered for sport
The rarely mentioned dark side
….Of the sunglasses machismo cool.
They let him go just so
….There would be a living witness.
With nothing left at all,
….He stowed away on trains
Through Central America and Mexico
….Snuck across the border into the USA
Now that he’s here in the land of dreams
….He says he’s confused and a little peeved.
He lives alone, very frugal, works three jobs
…And after twenty years, he still can’t make ends meet.