At the factory I worked
In the fleck of rubber, under the press
Of an oven yellow with flame,
Until the border patrol opened
Their vans and my boss waved for us to run. 5
"Over the fence, Soto," he shouted,
And I shouted that I was an American.
"No time for lies," he said, and passes
A dollar in my palm, hurrying me
Through the back door. 10
Since I was on his time, I ran
And became the wag to a short tail of Mexicans--
Ran past the amazed crowds that lined
The street and blurred like photographs, in rain.
I ran from that industrial road to the soft 15
Houses where people paled at the turn of an autumn sky.
What could I do but yell vivas
To baseball, milkshakes, and those sociologists
Who would clock me
As I jog into the next century
On the power of a great, silly grin. 20
REPRINTED FROM PAGE 143 OF READING LITERATURE AND WRITING ARGUMENT,
2nd ED . EDS. MISSY JAMES AND ALAN P. MERICKEL. PRINTED BY PRENTIS HALL
IN UPPER SADDLE RIVER, NJ. (2004)