What I Heard Today

“Hiking? In the forest? No. Only to look for firewood to cook our food. Not for fun.”

“Yes, I’ve ‘visited’ Mexico. I was there for two months waiting for the coyote.”

“In a room the size of this kitchen there were forty of us. They gave us blankets just like that [pointing to tinfoil]. And when they had to wake someone up to deport them, they woke all of us. And they came in every fifteen minutes to wake someone.”

“Hermano, mira. Hay una lavandería aquí en la casa.”

“My 23-year-old brother wanted to come, but he can’t run fast enough.”

“He can’t run fast enough?”

“To get on the train. I saw so many… broken legs, arms. Even a body with its legs completely amputated. You have to be able to run.”

“I crossed the Rio Grande on a raft.”

“I’ve never seen a dishwasher. We had to wash our clothes and dishes by hand.”

“Eggs, beans, and rice for lunch and dinner. Coffee for breakfast.”

“My cousin bought me the plane ticket, the phone, everything. And the detention center had all of his information, so when I arrived at the airport, the police were waiting for him.”

“$250 here for strep antibiotics? In my country it’s free. Being sick here is a luxury I guess.”

I guess it is.

Day Eleven, Road Trip 2016

oldest Florida site
 enthralls us like we’re in Spain
 (memories abound)

coquina fortress
 built on the sweat from slaves’ backs
 (engineering feat)

defense of this sight:
 gleaming harbor colony
 (worth the protection)

a dogged day’s drive
 at the end of this journey
 (worth the distraction)

history, not mice:
 Florida is more than Disney
 (all they need to know)

Los Ganadores

fourteen class hours
 in three days. cold winter walk
 to house of illness.

no breaks this weekend
 as oldest tells project woes
 middle craves pancakes
 but class again tomorrow
 allows no bake time
 (he’ll be up all night
 holding a pail for baby
 to give me this chance)
 as it’s always been–
 i work, work, work… he supports
 (and we’re all winners)