A tale

Living the cement

American dream

millions chasing

the kite’s

Blue, red, white


Only to meet

Blood sweat tears

Harsh reality.

Parenting in shifts

Breeding soldiers

of struggle

Papi couldn’t learn

English quickly

Factory life

Gasoline worker

At night

Smell embedded

In his hands

Ser buen pobres

is what he taught

me, in another

life you were a

Ñusta princess


we inherited

Poverty, but we

descend from


make dignity

Your throne.

Mami reeked

Of onions

Night shift

Work beast

Don’t touch me

She said

Let me wash up

Wash the




Making ends meet

Was always

their fear.

White oven waiting

with dinner

we all ate alone.

Independence day

Was every day

sisters raising


brothers raising

sisters.  The unlucky

ones were all

on their own.

Sewed up glasses

Ham cheese


these are

some of my least

favorite things.

An invisible hand

chased all of us

pointing out

our differences

The accents

Holey clothes

Kmart blue

Light special


The lack of

Snack packs.

All used as

Ammo for a

taunting attack.

A boat would bring

Those far, near to

Hotel Manor.

I saw my blood


They would leave.

Finding myself

In an ocean

of salty


That’s where the

hand tried to drown

me, pushing me

Under to not

breathe success

I glimpsed and saw

We were all there

My brothers

My sisters


With determination

In our eyes

The hand couldn’t

Stop us all

We were

On the rise

Together holding hands

Taking back our


United we stand

planting The seeds

for our money trees

Red picket fences

Or whatever

We damn well pleased.

I never did get that


but I was blessed

with a voice

to make injustice



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