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HB Clayton

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Update to "My Mexicans"
Wednesday, April 04, 2007  5:05:00 PM

by HB Clayton

Political Science
I offered my brother Tony a voice in telling his account of the story that inspired the poem "My Mexicans" and he took it.


My Mexicans?

The soil becomes a tomb, barren
     as the cherry tree yeilds no more
Those who have labored in the sun
     long since moved on to feed their

A single ad in the paper
     and the opportunistic men of
     my family move in

Long days of butchering this
     magnificent provider in pieces
     to be stacked on trucks, I think
     of the days atop the Massey Ferguson
     bouncing down geometrically perfect rows
Binned fruit for the world

I think of little entrepreneurs
     selling iced cold soda cans
     in the blistering sun for a dollar
I think of the tomale man Jesus
     pandering home maid heaven
     rolled in a corn husk

I think of how this and the next
     tree will feed my wife and child
     for the last time, ever loyal from
     their death beds

I think of family-
     Not the family that shares my face
     but the familia that wiped sweat from their
     brows, laboring with me in the sun for bread

Proud family-
     who worked tirelessly wishing
     only to make an honest buck
Some from here, some not

I think of the time I picked Jorge's
      baseball cap up from under a tree
It fell but he never followed, steady working   
Two words embroidered on the front:
      Chicano Power!

Most of all I think of a bigot 
      and his beautiful winery
      forty miles from my butchery
He was the last delivery from
      the day before

I refused to stack his wood
      for five dollars a cord
His only reply:
      "I'll just have my Mexicans do it
       for five dollars an hour"

This was the day that Mr. Preston
      became known to my family as 
      "Bigot Bill"

May his soil become a tomb, barren
      as the grapevine yields no more
May those who have labored in the sun
      for Bill move on and prosper   




 More News about HB Clayton
BLiNd TRuTh STuDiO - 12/24/2007 9:30:00 PM

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