- 14 Posts
- Age 16
The mind of a fourth grader isn’t what one would call complex.
I mean come on, at that point we’d done five years of Spanish and still couldn’t speak beyond “hello” or “it’s sunny” but it’s funny -
You’d think they’d understand at least the english escaping their lips, that they’d have a hold on the language they’ve been raised on...
- and yet it too is spoken in weathered fragments, seemingly impossible to piece together.
You’d think that a fourth grader would see some daily familiar unfamiliarity and go about their day as normal.
You’d hope they wouldn’t spout unknowing hate from their unknowing tongues.
I couldn’t fathom them asking my sister if my mahogany skinned grandfather was going to blow up our school,
but like I said - the mind of a fourth grader is not so complex.
We are immigrants.
Cleaning ladies and repairmen and babysitters,
we forge a living in polishing up the rough edges of your lives.
Run your businesses ground up only to run ourselves ragged through mud,
soil and scathe our hands on jagged rocks in the mines that produce your diamond,
cash flow in the chasms that swallow us whole to feed your gluttonous pride
as we struggle to fill our dinner tables.
We survive on the scraps of a nation that welcomes us into borders but casts us out of communities,
promises of a better life drowning out the impending sacrifice,
flashy signs and blinding lights cover up the piercing truth:
the American Dream is a nightmare for people of color.
The ideals aren’t complex, of course.
It’s the unspoken word,
the lesson that needs no teaching -
simple enough that even fourth graders understands it.
stand in line with us as brothers and sisters as long as the camera runs and always
stand for the pledge to a flag that doesn’t even belong to you,
ideals that don’t resonate in the
beat of your heart ‘cause if you can’t echo our drum then we’ll just
beat you into submission until you realize you can’t
beat us in this game of blend and become, find a way to rise as
smoke to pollute our pristine air
with your ruinous
fires of revolution.
- know that instigation of thought too alien shall be doused, prayers paid for in the salty tears
of your fruitless servitude,
a blackened forest standing to serve a painful reminder that you will never belong here.
But we do belong here, not as the dirt beneath your feet but the roots of the trees that form the treetop fabric that knits this ecosystem together.
Don’t tell me to sit down,
don’t tell me to stop simmering,
I am boiling like this so called ‘melting pot’ of a nation that burns us with the heat of a nonexistent
equality is not an option
equality is a guarantee left unfulfilled by faulty legislation,
a people that meet our beards with bullets, turbans with taunts, beliefs with beatings and abuses.
No don’t tell me to be quiet because the hatred isn’t quiet, the screams aren’t quiet,
and the bullets are so loud they’ve made you deaf to the rounds fired in the air,
fired at us.
My grandfather is the one taking bombs out of the ground as you hurl accusations like grenades at the turban on his head, the skin on his body, the lines tracing his face that tell a story you never bothered to read,
Because it was a just joke, it wasn’t a big deal,
and it’s never a big deal until the stink of bodies at the border, corpses in your streets suffocates you,
until you choke on the ash of your own indifference.
The state of this nation is not complex, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t flawed.
You talk of building walls. But who’s going to build them for you?
Even a fourth grader could understand that a facade such as this is surely bound to crumble.