Dos ancianos locos una para otra

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAuthor asked to remain Anonymous.The author and her novio have been in relationship for over six years. When people ask why they don’t get married so he can get a green card, her answer is, “It only works that way in the movies.

So we’re walking through slush on a February Sunday

Going up to the drugstore so you can get some medicine for your friend

Who doesn’t drive

Or have a gringa girlfriend like me who can drive him

And while we’re there you’ll look for a Valentine for me

A big box shaped like a heart, full of chocolate

Because you know I love chocolate (but not as much as I love you).

And when we leave it’s dark already, and there seems to be a hole in my boot

Which is filling up with ice water and I really would like to whine

But I’m thinking about you, crossing the desert

How many times? – with your cousins, with a coyote

The heat, the snakes, the danger. La migra looking for you.

How you walked all that way to find life, to find work.

No dinero en Mexico.

And I’m thinking about the women I know who did the same thing

And who tell me they were raped in the desert, tell me matter-of-factly

One more horror

And the woman who crossed the desert with a toddler on her hip

Strong women

Proud of their endurance

And I’m not inclined to complain about icy water in my boots

Just keep walking

Just a tiny fraction of the walking they have done.

And I wanted this to be a prayer

But when I pray what comes out is a roar:


It’s not fair that while I was growing up in middle class North America

Going to school each day, and Brownies, and learning to read

You were going barefoot

Leaving school at seven years old to herd the cows

Never really learning to read, or do math, or learn history or geography or science or all the million things there are to know in the world

Just work.

For fifty-eight years you have been working. Herding cows, planting crops, building walls. You are such a good worker. Nobody I know can work like you. And after fifty-eight years of working working working, no pension, no health insurance, no sick time. No vacations except when there’s no work, and then also no pay. Minimum wage, or maybe a little more.

Your hourly wage is less than half of mine, yet you work three times – six times – ten times – harder than I do in an hour.

It’s not fair.

But on we walk, and hold hands across the slushy sidewalk.

Rescue your people, Lord.

That’s my prayer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s