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There is a sign on the mailbox 

not a normal mailbox – a big green one 

that the mail lady unlocks 

pulls out words and brown cardboard 

shoves them into her saddlebags

every day.


Is it a sign or a 

sign of the times?

Silver graffiti that says 


immigration and customs enforcement

although there are times I want to abolish ice

I am aging and

I am close to creeping down 

glassy sidewalks 

at an old-lady pace.


ABOLISH I.C.E.– I see it every day.

It fills my heart with the 

absolutism of youth.

But now – am I wise? Judgmental?

I am certain that

abolishing I.C.E .can never be accomplished.


I had a girlfriend who carried a fat black marker with her

she wrote boycott! on Coors beer posters

she wrote shoot Bush first! on 

the walls of subways and buses.

George Bush is more evil than Reagan

she explained

because he thinks nuclear war is a viable option.

She created new signs out of poster ads

added new subway instructions to

littering is punishable by fine.

Younger than me

fearless, I thought – when really

how bad would it be if she got caught?


Was it a sign?

What would she be writing now -- 

Boycott Chik-fil-A!

No Fascist USA!

Was it a sign that

we would be together a painful two years  -- when one

would have been so much better?

I didn’t know the signs from her 

need to get high every night

what it meant for her

an escape from  the sign she carried inside 

which said

my father hit me 

and I was the smallest.


The ABOLISH I.C.E. sign

is indestructible 

today it looks fresh  – 

I love to think that it was painted over and


and maybe it could

maybe immigration enforcement could become

caring, kind, generous

maybe fathers could hit something inanimate, or not hit at all.



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