Posts Tagged ‘migrants’

A version of this poem was published in The Wilmington Review years ago. I have revised it several times since it was published. .This is the latest.


Song Of The Migrant Workers

Julie Buffaloe-Yoder

Their shacks, a row of scabs

on the hot, red backs of rows

where naked children

with broken eyes

stare at the noon-white sky

and shuffle little feet

through dust, gnats, hope.


With skin like sweat damp tobacco,

they work from six in the morning

’til eight at night, six days a week

for two rooms and a few dollars.

Heads bent low, they wear nothing

but red bandanas, burlap sacks, sun.


Sundays, they wake before dawn

and bathe in an irrigation pond.

They go to church in a condemned

general store with no pews

and stay long after we have

eaten way too much for supper.


Their tambourines shake with God

as they sing of the Kingdom coming,

snorting horses, stark dark revelations.

Their voices rise like rainbows

through thunder cracked clouds.


Night grows fat outside our windows

when they speak in unknown tongues.

The wind remembers their notes.

The ground trembles beneath our feet.




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