Who owes whom?
Who Owes Whom? And what if we interrupted the phosphorescent faces that calmly assess our fate? What if we stripped the presses of their convenient projections, voicing instead our own objections to the national debt and immigrant debate? We are not the trespassers who transformed our cobblestone streets, adorned by the twice repossessed temples to our future, into war zones: bombed out and abandoned like the dreams hunger consumes. We are not the trespassers who engraved malnutrition into the ancient faces of our children; carved servitude into the knotted driftwood backs of our campesinos who must relinquish our food to the world's table. We are not the trespassers who annexed half our nations hoarding our wealth in hands as clean and white as the teeth of bankers, las guardias blancas, la Casa Blanca, el banco mundial blanco, though the skin at times may look brown. And we will not pay one increment more than the blood and tears shed like ticker-tape in the miscarried revolutions creditors aborted. For how are we to repay a debt that is owed us? Please Sir, tell us, how do we trespass on land that was first peopled by us? All that land you pried from the still-warm fingers of our dead like artifacts to be sold to private collectors. All those wares you snatched like meat from the ribs of our hungry. All that land on which we die like ants in a poison rain when we till it; like worms for turning garbage to gold. All those riches all that blood all that sweat. How are we to repay a debt owed us? Please, Sir, tell us, How does one trespass when a land belongs only to the rivers, roots, and sun?
MARGOT "PIMIENTA" PEPPER (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) was born in Mexico City. Her work has appeared in the Utne Reader, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, the Berkeley Daily Planet, publications by City Lights, Poetry Flash, Hampton Brown, Cuba's Granma International, Canada's The Scoop, and France's Le Courrier. She is the author of At This Very Moment (poetry) and of a memoir, Through the Wall: A Year in Havana (a 2006 American Book Award nominee). Pepper recently completed a teachers' curriculum guide (Poetry Is Using Your Senses) and is working on an ironic collection of magic realism and science fiction entitled Everyone, Everyone Can Win!
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2006|
|Previous Article:||Giving critical context to the deportee phenomenon.|
|Next Article:||Neoliberalism, racism, and the war on drugs in Canada.|