returning from the rio grande…

Sehba Sarwar

Lights flash as we approach the rectangular building sitting alone in the desert amidst hot land and cactus.

Wearing green pants & shirts, they stand and inform us: We are border patrol.

One officer leads their dog around our car as we answer standard questions:

– born in the United States?

– naturalized? When?

– where were you born?

And then, with smiles, we are waved away. Glad you enjoyed the park, they tell us. Have a good drive!

In my backpack pocket, I press the pink and purple beads that we purchased from the decorations spread amidst cacti along the mountainous trail on this side of the Rio Grande. And we wonder if the woman will ever make it across the water to collect the $5 that I stuff into the bottle.