“Dreamer” flattened me. Its deft use of language intrigued me, and its powerful ending straightened my spine while it opened my heart. This poem explores immigration from a daunting, devastating perspective. “She decides to redact nothing, not because I’ve taught her/ God is in the details, but because she knows/ there is nothing illegal about her.” Maximilian Heinegg has his finger on the pulse of a cold, dark America. This poem sheds a light.
— Alexis Rhone Fancher, Poetry Editor of Cultural Weekly, poetry prize judge
She doesn’t want to write “the Immigration essay,”
says she can’t remember Governador Valadares.
She attended the local elementary, only learning
what she was when she couldn’t work. Then it made sense,
her father praying when a cop followed his pickup,
her mother cleaning because she could without a card.
She wants to write about DACA, Trump stealing
her dream of staying, going to Berklee, becoming
a musician & then, a teacher. Like you did.
I’m afraid she should hide her history, leave
no paper trail. Now my help endangers her.
She decides to redact nothing, not because I’ve taught her
God is in the details, but because she knows
there is nothing illegal about her. At home,
my daughters walk from their bus together.
There are raids one town over. I want them to know
what the country is becoming, what it’s not worth.