my facebook uncle 

Aimee Penna

my facebook uncle

blames hillary

blames alyssa milano


my facebook uncle

posts videos

of mexicans

trying to climb the wall

there's a snappy


friends respond

with emojis

tearing up

with laughter


my facebook uncle has two

bright-eyed twin


who were born here

so they're doing 

nothing wrong


my facebook uncle has a heart

full of love

i cannot reconcile

this fact

against his post

of a woman,

a mother impaled

to death

after falling

from the border wall


my facebook uncle doesn't

find this funny

he posts it as

a lesson

a warning

to do things 


it's safer, he says


but safety 

and comfort

do not push

people to board

rafts, ford rivers

or to scale walls


my facebook uncle must

know this

to be true

or maybe he

is running away

from this kind

of knowing,


toward another

kind of knowing


it feels solid

and sure as

a wall whose


lie beyond,

and they're hard

to like or to


and no emoji seems

quite right

 Aimee Penna’s poems have appeared in Columbia Poetry Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Hawaii Pacific Review, and Whiskey Island, among othersShe holds an MFA from Bennington Writing Seminars and has been an editorial assistant at The American Poetry Review. She recently moved to San Antonio with her husband and two kooky cats.