Migrant Daughter

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.