Monday, December 19, 2005

Crossing the Border



by Daniel Olivas

It is now a sport, great fun,
a diversion from your
work-a-day grind.

Hunt the mojados – “wetbacks” just
doesn’t sound humane, now does it?
– as they run across the border from
Mexico to the great state of Texas.

Help the border patrol
(though they deny wanting help,
poor overworked bastards) by lining up
your pick-ups and jeeps (American-made,
of course) and shining your headlights bright and
revealing towards the scrub, towards
our neighbors to the south.

Share a nice little Jack Daniel’s with
your buddy and keep a lookout for a
family or two, crouching, lurking,
hoping for a better life.

Cock your rifles, but never aim at ‘em,
just blast a few warning shots
up into the star-filled,
moonlit night.

It is a beautiful evening,
redolent with desert life,
just waiting for them to
cross the border.

[first appeared in Poetry Super Highway (March 2004)

2 comments:

msedano said...

I love poetry. There're so much potential packed into a single phrase or expression that it's a tickle playing with the possibilities.

So the ultimate stanza throws me:

It is a beautiful evening,
redolent with desert life,
just waiting for them to
cross the border.


The persona is evidently one of the Minuteassholes, looking forward to a night safeguarding our borders. So, is this tipo saying she smells the immigrants, is that what redolent says?


mvs

daniel olivas said...

i meant for it to have two meanings, one innocent, one not. the innocent meaning (which is nonetheless filled with irony) is the narrator enjoying the smells and sights of the desert. the other is smelling prey, i.e., the gente who want to cross the border.