“Conflict” (a tribute to the migrant worker)

CONFLICT

“I’d like to propose a toast…
 to dreams
and to the bold
Men and Women
that dare to dream them
to the wild-eyed visionaries
that plant seeds in their
hearts with hopes
to one day see them
come to pass
 
for prayers
sweeter than papayas
that rise from the
deepest darkest
depths of our cellars
where my heart
is pumping out
prayers like mass
 
to the foresight
that illuminates our
foreshadows that
whirl in the glass
of our souls
to those robust
farm workers clad
in jeans, flannels
handkerchiefs and hats
 
for all the Mamas and Papas that
wear their skin like worn leather
who are wrinkled and red like raisins
and whose wrinkles hold stories like wine jugs
and whose woes are ten miles deeper than
any winemaker’s pocket book
 
this ones for them
 
for all of the grandmas
and grandpas that look like stucco
whose eyes look like ice wines
with frost outlining their irises
for the crows-feet perched
perfectly on their eye-lids
and their white hair flowing
like broken clouds passing
through windmill slices
for century old spines like gnarly
vines in vineyards for lilac diamonds
to the god-like elders
for our aging wines and
their timeless guidance
 
this ones for floral notes
sung by the brown folks
for the flower vendor
the one that puts
the rose in rosary
for a gorgeous culture
that rose from dirt so openly
for arms that open like blossoms
for womb-like palms that deliver
the grape from bondage
and carry it from
conception to fruition
and beyond the goblet
for the seed that dreams itself
larger than grapes and transcends
wine, song, couplet and sonnet
 
to cherry pickers like
rebels with barreled chests
waging war with their wages
who hurl their dreams
like Molotov cocktails
into our amber waves of grain
whose knuckles are
gnarled and strained
for the work of a dreamer
is stainless and honest
 
for the protagonist, the antithesis, the subplot
and most importantly the conflict
 
you see
I know copper-skinned
women and men
that work for pennies
 
I know Mothers that
never feel beaten
machine-like Mothers
that clean hotels by day
sell Avon at night
and work the fields
on the weekends
so this ones for freedom
 
for children with eyes like plums
whose hair looks like dark chocolate
waterfalls pouring out and catching the sun
 
for precious sun-flowers
with green thumbs that
have never been embarrassed
of their hardworking parents
that pick pears and pluck asparagus
this ones for the families that get scattered
for work all across the Americas
 
its ugly
I know a girl that was
held for ransom at birth
just beneath the border
by bad men known
as Coyotes who you
gotta pay to smuggle dreams
into this country
 
its beyond ugly
its heart crushing
 
so this ones for the underbelly
for the juggling of children over rivers
for dodging dogs & militias
for sliding dreams passed
the law writers passing
laws higher than the
barb wire their casting
the people they’re pruning
and the hopes they’re smashing
 
to the Mighty Migrant Worker
may your hands and spine
always nurture the vine
may the cups of all your tomorrows
be filled with the fruits of your labor
and may the dreams you dream of find freedom
in the land of your neighbor
 To you”

by Jordan Chaney

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