A Poem About Getting a Paycheck During the Time of Trump

Apr 20, 2019
11:55 AM


you asked why I was so angry
and it was payday and my friend’s father had been deported two days ago

and I couldn’t help but think about how my taxes and your taxes and his taxes, that he was paying but will never benefit from—

were used to pay for the handcuffs and the truck and the guns and the uniforms, and the meal the ICE agents ate right before they raided his kitchen

over the course of my life I’ve fully funded the separation of families, the death of unborn children, and countless sexual assaults of women and men in captivity

this month alone, I personally paid for the deportation ticket of a primary caregiver to a child with cerebral palsy

and you wonder why I am so fucking angry on this day when I look at my check, add the dollars and cents and see how much I have contributed to this hell

I want this government to put our names on the things we pay for. Better yet, put our pictures on every bomb, prison brick, or nightstick used to break an arm

Would we still watch the news as passively, if we could see ourselves, our neighbors and our families as personally implicated as we are?

I hope we would look around and wonder why our names weren’t on more hospitals, or baby formula, or preschools, or adult education programs for our parents who are losing their jobs.

It was payday
and my friend’s father had been deported two days ago and I couldn’t stop thinking about how I was responsible.


Rey Goicochea is a poet. As he tells us, “Payday” is about how it feels getting his paycheck while living in Trump’s U.S. It’s inspired by real events that happened in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For more about Rey’s poetry, go to reygpoetry.com.