The picker’s daughter
will not meet her husband
on a tobacco farm, will not
have her hands stained yellow
from the recycling rain and sun,
nor will serrated leaves scar her
mixing nicotine into blood and bone.
She will pick and bail knowledge.
She will listen and not marry
seasons after her first spotting,
nor produce children after the third crop
in the tradition of black soil migrants
who flower with the quiet resistance
that hope, seed can master the gringo way.
Be better than us, mija, they plead to her.
And she will. She will rise. She will assimilate,
flourishing in the black things that white’s value—
cap and gown, twelve point font on legal paper,
ones and zeros, gunmetal resolve, the op-Ed
of social media, the congressional suit and tie.
She was planted in migrant revolt, elected to it.
She will join with the stout hands of generations,
building a better wall only to tear it down
after abuela, papa and mama had since decayed,
and tia Anita can no longer give the side eye
when she asks the children/ marriage question.
Having no need for tie breakers, she’ll have two,
knowing she came out 100% of what papa hoped.
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