The Road to Opportunity

Did you know?
Did you know that right now, in this very second, there are people crossing?
This very second, people running, walking, stumbling, falling…
maybe never to get up again,
all the water, all the life,
leached from their bodies, spilling freely onto the hot, cold, brilliant, beautiful, cruel plain of the desert,
much as clean, chilled water flows oh so easily from the tap.

We rarely comprehend how much we have
-lolling around in our lives of luxury,
as thousands of people die on our doorstep.
Blissfully ignorant, we’re unaware, or we don’t even care.
People just like you and me!
Except not at all,
because when did you face death so that you could feed your family?
when have you walked until your feet are nothing but a bubbling mass of raw meat?
when have you even wanted for food?

I’ve never tasted starvation, but I’ve seen it
-in my cousin, sobbing when we leave her home, smaller than my dorm room
-not because she’s sad to see us go, but because we took some of the food with us
I’ve felt it too
-in the dirty, sweaty, shoving bodies of children
-pressing themselves against me, trying to force themselves into my car,
desperately seeking an escape from the world they lived in.
Their faces are the ones that send fathers, mothers, young families,
running into foreign territory.
Accompanied by the fear of witnessing the disappointment of their children,
they leave for The Land of Opportunity
-a glorious, glamorous land, where so many people have everything,
yet they will have nothing.
And they will continue to have nothing.
-as they slave away in the sun, in the heat
-as we call them names, label them as criminals, degrade and dehumanize
-as we claim they try to take over, those unholy, sexually-active whores
-as we sit on our asses, complaining about how they steal our jobs
-as they live a non-life, hidden away, without rights, comforts, luxuries,
and pick the food that ends up on our tables.

They hand-feed us, feasts of blood, sweat and tears,
broken hearts and broken families.
We assume they want to be here,
can’t imagine the horror it takes to force people from the place they love, where they’re loved
-to a world where they’re despised.
They come from a country with its own beauty, culture, and family
-a country currently ravaged by our imperialism
-raped and ripped apart by the drug wars that we so generously feed, fuel and fund.
But no, that can’t be right…
we couldn’t possibly be the ones to blame.
Despite the fact that we’re employing them,
eating the food they harvest,
smoking the dope they sell.
No, not us.
We are blameless, clean, infallible.
This is the golden land of opportunity
-of freedom
-of democracy
-[of privilege].


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