After the marchers go home,
low riders come to town
in buffed-up cars with upholstered trunks
full of batteries to power
the hydraulics that give each car
its bounce. Its bump.
Brown Town, Contageous 509,
Los Malditos from Othello.

Los Bailadores del Sol dance in the street
clicking their heels against the pavement.
Music is loud. All the taco trucks
led by Tacos del Carbon--lo mejor--
line up with fresh horchata. Smell of lime.
Mizz Dee cooking chicken and ribs,
sending smoke. Oh, man.
Sunday afternoon in the streets of Yakima.

Jim Bodeen


El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido

If truth be told, Saturday's march
turned into a morning of shared joy.
Saw people I hadn't seen in ages.
Nos reconectado, ¿sabe?

Like a family reunion.
I stand on a picnic table taking a photo
of all the people before the mariachis
and Luz climbs up with me,

laughing. Luz wrote her story.
We're marching so she can put her name
on it. Karen's at La Casa Hogar. I meet
David Ayala from El Salvador.

He's in Seattle now, with One America.
"We need people to come out of the shadows,"
he says. He knew Medardo in '89,
remembers Ellacuría talking to the people.

"He could talk to people on their level,"
he says. "I was out of touch. My family
were important Baptists in El Salvador.
All my friends were talking revolution.

When I joined them, people started praying
for me." David's doing Ellacuría’s work now
taking crucified people down
from their crosses. So many people

I know. Parents of students
who made posole for me. And students
themselves with their children! Two chants
carrying us through the streets:

Obama, escucha. Estamos en la lucha.
A friendly jab for the President, ya?
And the deeper one coming from our hearts:
El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido.

A united people will never be defeated.
Five Lutherans march! And one teacher
from the college. God keeps
coming with surprises. A young pastor

from Ohio brings his question from Luke,
Who is my neighbor?
¿Quién es mi prójimo?
Ann came and so did Connie and Larry.

Ann made a handout with Bible verses.
They hold up our sign
against ones confronting them.
We turn the corner where

defenders of Arizona 1070
wait, their numbers straggly,
signs poor—poor and mean—
one sign: Stop the Invasion.

And one outlines a map of North America—
Not yours, written over the U.S.A.,
and Yours, written across Mexico.
The local tv station said people

in Yakima agree with Arizona 3 to 1,
but thousands marched with us—
Ningún ser humano es ilegal
on t-shirts worn by children.

Jesus, Joseph, Moses and Ruth.
Look in the photos. In dangerous
times, don't get behind on your Chomsky.
Anger in the joy can be heard—

nobody's pretending to write laws. "There
it was the Jews. Here it will be illegal
immigrants and blacks," Chomsky says.
"We will be told that white males

are a persecuted minority." My favorite
signs, the signs of the young evoking memories
of Alberto next to me on the front porch
20 years ago, prójimo, on his lips.

Jim Bodeen
3 May 2010

1 comment:

  1. Heart work, pure and direct, what keeps the anger down may be heart work. I relish the community working together to face off this meanness no snake would deserve to be aligned with, thank you for your commitment to what is right. kjm