gardener

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic


Inspired by the poets I'm reading in my Chicano Studies class and by real life. Thanks for reading!

Submitted: May 10, 2018

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Submitted: May 10, 2018

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A A A


“What do your parents do for a living?”

the teacher asks a room of fifth graders.

Charlie's mom is a nurse.

Heather’s parents own a granite business. 

Michael is the son of a lawyer.

 

The question comes to me. 

I reply with “Gardener”.

Because that makes cutting grass 

for nice, white families 

sound like a real profession. 

 

When my parents came from Mexico

they had gardening tools and a dream.

Now when summer comes

and school ends

mowing lawns becomes the family business.

I help my father pull weeds.

Ten years old, 

but I can already work a leaf blower.

The mud blends into my brown skin.

 

At every job, I look around.

Big backyards, swimming pools, swing sets.

One house has a lakeside view.

A woman walks out 

wearing a sunhat

and she shoves my father’s check for the month

into his hand.

She doesn’t say hi

Or look him in the eye.

 

My blood boils

until we jump into the truck

and my father smiles ear to ear.

His brown eyes glowing with pride.

“My yards have the greenest grass on the block,”

he beams.


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