Thanks-Taking

A young man in Mexico,

poor enough to live in a hut

with a dirt floor,

fiercely religious,

speaks no English,

crawls across an imaginary line

in the desert

in the dead of night

to OZ .

He labors bent over

in a strawberry field

picking my food

for sub-standard wages,

no health care,

no other kind of care,

no safety codes,

no rules that favor him.

He pays taxes to an invisible hand every payday

for which he receives nothing.

He is reviled.

One day men with American flags

festooned on their drab military style uniforms

approach.

They call out “criminal”.

He looks around to see

who they speak of

as their well fed

white knuckles

grip his arm.

He is going home.

Migrants in Mexico

who risk the road to Xanadu

are folk heroes.

They are urban mythologies.

Those that hire them,

the Patrons,

rich and powerful,

when weighed against their brown Mexican sweat,

are the beneficiaries.

Closed borders did not make America.

Borders open to young men and women

everywhere did.

Is it a crime to cross that line?

To feed hungry children

or wives or mothers

or only to hope

to improve one’s life?

Shame on the heretics of the American dream

and legacy.

American is an idea

not defined

by which side of that line you are on.

In Martin Scorsese’s historical epic film

“Gangs of New York”,

the war in the streets of Hell’s Kitchen

for cultural dominance

was fought between

the Nativists,

“born right” (in America)

and the foreign hoards (immigrants).

The present day debate on the “illegal”,

an unfortunate term,

smells like the stench in the Five Corners of New York City

at the dawn of America.

Take to the streets.

Occupy, Strike!

Tear down the fences.

Build bridges instead.

The Tea-Naggers plea for

an American Maginot Line;

fences for fools.

It won’t work you know.

The Germans proved that in 42’

when they just drove around it.

It’s a curiosity now,

a tourist destination,

a monument to man’s stupidity.

Patton said then,

“If mountain ranges

and oceans

can be overcome,

anything man-made can be overcome.”

The American Ponzi Scheme,

the world’s fastest escalator

to the American Dream,

must have new boarders at the bottom

to take the ride up

so the fortunate few

at the top

win.

Without the Latinos,

now the only Americans left,

(that used to be the province of the Japanese),

we are no longer America.

Archeologists will find

the “left behind”

had fat wallets and small necks

became soft and decadent;

like Rome.

New Americans are needed.

We were great once;

when our statue begged

for huddled masses,

tired and poor,

yearning to breathe free;

when we invited the wretched refuse

to our teeming shores;

the homeless; tempest-tossed;

when we lit a lamp

beside the golden door.

Before Reagan

idolatrized money;

before we hid behind phones

in glass and metal cars,

xenophobic, torturous, murderous;

before we became ugly,

gelatinous masses;

just ask an American Indian.

America belongs to the Seekers,

not to those here resting

on her fat belly.

New Americans Needed

Apply within.

 

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About circusinpurgatory
Nick Masesso Jr’s fictionalized short stories, poetry and prose have been published in the Starry Night Review, Elegant Thorn Review, Language and Culture.net and Vagabond Press; the Battered Suitcase. His latest book “Armor of Innocence” and first book “Walking the Midway in Purgatory, a Journal” are available on-line and through bookstores.

4 Responses to Thanks-Taking

  1. Julie says:

    My thoughts exactly! I work with refugees who face a similar negativeness coming from the american’s around them. As if they don’t belong here.

  2. Julie,
    Looking to re-post this piece to commemorate another Thanksgiving coming soon and noticed your comment from way back when I first posted it. Sorry i neglected to respond. To that end; Thanks for giving.

  3. Reblogged this on Nick Masesso, Jr..

  4. James Mcfarland says:

    From title to last font, truth and compassion dissect fecal bigotry and political hypocrisy. Another unheralded masterpiece deserving of headline print.

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