2010s · Poetry


When you rise early from your wide bed
pull on your long pants, brush your porcelain teeth,
do you also decide to fill your mouth with pebbles
stuff them into your cheeks for stoning small children?

When you gather the keys to your reliable car,
drink your coffee, eat your toast and eggs,
do you then grab your territorial pissing sign,
join others pushing buses full of babies off the road?

When you kiss your mop-haired children goodnight,
stroke their cool foreheads, wish them quiet dreams,
do you tell them of slashing plastic jugs of water,
pouring it out into sand like a narrow-eyed bully?

When you brush off the knees of your own fallen children,
teach them to be fair and kind, grow up strong,
do you tell them how you dream of kicking the skins
of skinny brown legs, barely able to stand?

First published in Gutters & Alleyways: Perspectives on Poverty and Struggle 2014
*On July 2, 2014, dozens of protesters in Murrieta, CA, blocked 3 buses of refugee women and children from being processed in their facilities. In 2012, the humanitarian group No More Deaths documented border patrol officers kicking, slashing, and pouring out jugs of water left for desert crossers.

2014 · Publications

Poets Cafe (KPFK Radio – Los Angeles 90.7 fm)

KPFKKinda jumping up and down for this one! I am so thrilled to be included in a series of poetry by Poets Cafe (KPFK Radio – Los Angeles 90.7 fm) on immigration. This topic is near and dear to me in my teaching life, as many of my students are immigrants or first generation from immigrants. Recent news about the protests in Murrieta broke my heart. You can not only read my poem “Murrieta”, but listen to me reading it for you at this link!