Academic journal article Afro - Hispanic Review

Word Simple

Academic journal article Afro - Hispanic Review

Word Simple

Article excerpt

The Workers

it's still dark outside and

the workers are sitting in

front of the locked warehouse

eating fresh bread with a side

of coffee. they are not saying

very much this early morning

just glad to enjoy the quiet before

the new work day starts. when

light begins to gently break into

the wide cloudless sky I can see

what makes each of them a work

of elegant beauty. I sit with my

coffee beside them knowing the

moment will be worthy of mention

the whole day and my entire life

to come.


I will tell you of the people who

speak loudly that no one cares to

understand, who experience their

days like a crime, and with shaking

heads wait for tenderness. I will walk

you down the street where holy angels'

voices are mute, divinity has yet to offer

peace, and children who run the blocks

in play stop on the stoops to ponder

they are no more than luckless clay.

I will show you the places in a morally lost

world where the half-dead cry out for daily

bread in a deluge of obscene days and are

neither seen or heard. I will ask you to

spend time among the sweet brown crowd,

to bend your knees by the angry, the wounded

the sunken face kids, the families who

stare at the graves of the dead, the old men

and women pleading for life. I will exhaust

myself asking you to show even once a thin

sign of love.


the children

cry justice



dimming light,

a thing in

cruelty past

so many did

see. the older

generation with

near forgotten

dreams reach

with the dark


for signs

that read

Lord of Mercy,

tell these


full of

hate, America,

the beautiful,

so beautiful

too with me.

The Move

the car that breaks down every

three blocks is packed with five

carton boxes, a rocking chair,

two lamps, a coffee table, and

the altar Saints for the move just

around the corner. they will come

back for the kitchen and bedroom

sets with dark-faced children sound

asleep in their hearts, the deep night

with devil gathered junkies on the

block marching then to the infinite

abyss, and alley cats scurrying about

with blood dripping from their teeth. they

were driven to another cage by a Land

Lord with an ugly smile who came to say

spics get lost, go to Sunday mass to ask

for another place to live, and get out before

the white day is done. the car returned for

the residence remains, the young mother

with sweet memories held in her arms stood

in the empty living room crying for America

the brave that never looked for her in that South

Bronx wasteland with a single promise to keep.

she walks around the apartment with trembling

lips saying farewell to a space that even on the

days God was sick was the sweetest broken English

home she lived.

The Future

the future is the long sidewalk

with grandmothers pulling simple

wheeled grocery carts, kids playing

on the street, single mothers vanishing

in church, and Nuyorican youth trying

hard to please the old Irish priest's God.

the future is quietly kneeling in the dark,

praying for fathers to hold their liquor on

Friday night, waking up for one more day

of school, and leaving the classroom saying

that sucked. the future is reaching for the

ones who are gone like a miracle crawling

from the flower garden on the empty lot

of the block with its own procession of

grey city birds. what's coming is a matter

of Spanish shouting in tongues, Angels in

rounds applauding, the time beyond the

common strife, the precious browning of

these streets. …

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