The Wrecking Ball & The Song


The Chicago hospital is gone. Battered by the dangling iron wrecking ball, crushed and carted gone. Till all that remains are the shimmering waves of dirty gray heat, like a south Texas sun beating down right this moment on a converted Walmart store where America now stores children in aisles of shame and empty boxes filled with lost souls and stacked to the ceiling where the fans have stopped moving air and the kids have all cried every tear dry.

The Chicago Hospital, Children’s Memorial, is gone. But my Mom remembers. “You were four. You were very sick. Children’s Memorial was the best. But this was back when they didn’t let parents spend the night. That’s just the way they did things then. We had to leave you there overnight. That was hard.”

The Chicago Hospital is gone. What do I remember? Reaching back as far as I can, I remember sounds of wailing terror on the other sides of the walls. Do I really remember that? Or is it just that I sleep with the white noise of the fan, the air conditioner or humidifier most every night of my life? White noise to block out all the pain. All that white noise and the fact that my parents came back to the first rate medical facility and we went home.

Now home for the refugee children is the camps. Parents that don’t come back. And the classic cry of the abusive husbands of the world, “See what you did? YOU made me beat the children!” goes up as the fingers point.

There is no more denying that it exists. The proof is that the ruling party remains, defends the practice, and lets it go on. They let it go on. So there is no argument this time. No diversion will work. There is only good and evil. And if you have no connection, not a big one or a small one, to the separation of parent and child: put yourself in that Walmart. Breathe in. Smell the terror. Hear the cries. Send a lullaby out to those kids the camps.

The hospital is gone. But the lullaby for those kids and for their parents is in all of our hearts. Stop for a moment. Feel it? You remember. Still not sure? Go read what Laura Bush said. She said it perfectly. Listen for those kids. Sing that song of heart. You know the words.

Sing that hard times come again no more.

15 Responses to “The Wrecking Ball & The Song”

  1. toritto Says:

    “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”…….I have never in my 75 years been so ashamed of my country Roger.

    Regards from Florida

    • chicagoguy14 Says:

      Me neither Frank. I’m just waiting for the next shoe to drop”it’s the kids fault or they aren’t really families or something that blames the victims.

  2. hcgagel Says:

    Perhaps we should organize a grandparents’ brigade to liberate the children.

  3. chicagoguy14 Says:

    There is one of these camps–I believe–in New Jersey. And people from New Jersey don’t put up with this kind of crap. Especially if we join in to back them up!

  4. chicagoguy14 Says:

    For the regular reader who wrote: “Don’t make me google Laura Bush Roger” Here’s what she said:I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.

    Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso. These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. histor

  5. Naomi de Plume Says:

    First they came for…

    Great parallel, ChiGuy. I have words but I have yet to find the right ones. I’ll start here, though.

    • Paul Haider Says:

      Despite being an atheist, I’d still be the first person to claim that we are all the children of God. Also, we are ultimately judged by how we treat the most defenseless and vulnerable members of our society. You can tell a lot about a man’s character based on his treatment of people who are defenseless and vulnerable; Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump are pieces of shit that should be flushed down the toilet with all of the other conservative turds. May hard times come again no more for all of the immigrants from Central America; may Sessions and Trump be judged harshly in this life and the next one.
      Paul Haider, Chicago

  6. chicagoguy14 Says:

    I had a lot of trouble finding the right words for this too because its just so horrible and I wasn’t sure what the common thread was. But then I was talking on the phone to my Mom last night and I could hear how the separation –how she remembered it. How it got to her. And I realized that ws the common thread. The separation of parent and child. That was the story. Everything else was just the usual blame the victim. throw out a bunch of story lines, till you find one that sticks, pay zero attention to any kind of truth, step on the vulnerable. . .or as its known in Trumpvile. . . .Monday.

  7. boomerbob Says:

    I could remark how utterly ashamed I am of the people (Americans) who are doing this, who have the unmitigated impudence to not not only approve and allow this to take place, but who, through their votes and support, decided this is somehow admirable behavior.

    I could say to everyone that this is nothing less than severely abhorrent behavior, not suitable for anyone who claims membership in the human race; how this defies everything this nation uses to justify wars.

    I could. But why is it even necessary to protest such behavior among fellow human beings?

    I fear the very nature of exceptionalism has exposed the true nature of many in this country, people who find comfort in torture, in kidnapping, and unjust imprisonment.

  8. boomerbob Says:

    Excellent post, by the way.

  9. Tom Dickinson Says:

    I fear many, like me, are enduring severe compassion fatigue…it all seems so hopeless…so thanks to you for bearing up and keeping a spark of hope glowing…

  10. Paul Haider Says:

    You can’t start a fire without a spark.

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