America Speaking – a Work in Progress*

The Immigrant

The immigrant loves me

Waiting by the side of the road

Watching for a truck to slow

Hablando con sus amigos

He is happy to have come this far

To have worked so hard and saved so long

And paid the many propinas that must be paid

He remembers kissing his wife goodbye

That last day, his niña in his arms, making promises

The endless, claustrophobic passage

And the first view of his new country

The overwhelming, eviscerating hope

A day’s work here, a month’s pay back home

Don’t tell me this was a mistake

Don’t tell me I’m not welcome

Don’t tell me I don’t deserve this

Tell me, “You! You with the crazy eyes!

Jump in the back of this truck…

This truck of rust and dreams”

* An earlier version of this series was published in my first poetry collection: Back and Out Again