Observing a mysterious white culture while living on the ragged edge of poverty in an unaccepted Mexican subculture of America was acutely troubling to a child simply looking for safety, acceptance and a place to belong. These poems are of the brutal struggles of hard work in dangerous times. These poems are about a papá who never wavered under the difficult challenges of working and raising a family in a foreign country as a migrant laborer and a mamá who dedicated herself to loving and protecting her children at all costs, in a man’s world, twice over. In a time when we were innocent and vulnerable and the world was a scary, foreign place, all we had were our parent’s gifts. Papá’s strong work ethic helped us forge ahead and not give up through difficult times and Mamá’s passion and the pictures she painted in our minds filled us with hope… and hope was the road we traveled into our future. Migrant Sun is a poignant tale of love in hard times, racism, forgiveness in the face of brutality, but most of all, how the bonds of family are ultimately more important than any differences we may have had within our family or that existed outside of it.
Targeted Age Group:: Adults
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
This book was inspired by my childhood, growing up as a part of a Mexican-American migrant worker family working in harsh conditions in the Western United States. The poems in this book are drawn from the experiences I had growing up, the struggles, and the perseverance my family had to make it through such difficult times and remain a strong family.
I’ve been awakened in dark by whispers.
I’ve been awakened in dark by anger.
I’ve eaten breakfast under a single,
Lonely, dangling, incandescent bulb,
In a dilapidated migrant laborer’s shack;
The bruja’s threatening shadow
Dancing malevolently on the wall,
Listening for the call—
Waiting for my fall—
I’ve labored in fields of rain,
My blood flowed murky and dark—like the rain
Down the sugar beet rows.
I’ve labored in fields set ablaze by the blistering sun.
Hell attempted to claim my soul.
I’ve labored in fields frozen white with early snow.
My feet have frozen, but I didn’t complain.
I’ve cut off my own fingers and not felt the pain.
I’ve labored in fields with my brothers and sisters.
Side by side—we worked.
Our nubile bodies sacrificed and spent.
We were there, but no one noticed.
We were there, but no one cared.
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