This poem captures the emotional hardship that borders & boundaries can create
New York poet Yesenia Montilla’s poem Maps touches beautifully on how borders can be sites of actual violence in people’s lives. Though some of us may have the luxury of seeing contentions over borders as an ideological battleground, many people across the world have their lives impacted daily by arbitrary lines drawn across territories. This poem specifically sheds light on a friend of Yesenia’s, whose family was torn apart by border and immigration control.
I’m in awe of how Montilla blends landscapes of both body and map to express the physical impact of the concept of borders. There is a visceral thread surging through the poem, which lends life to a theme which can seem far away to some of us.
Read the poem below, how could you bring a theme that’s important to you, alive in the same way?