Daughter of a Dreamer
My father built those walls that keep you warm,
that keep you cool.
Those walls you paint
around your doors.
He soaks his back with towels my mother heats
in the microwave.
He twisted his foot walking here
so I could learn
so I could write
a language he did not know.
He walks funny--
there was no doctor
here where he could work,
where we could eat every day,
live sin lombrises,
where I am neither orphan nor dirty.
My teachers cannot say my name,
so I say Mary, make it easy.
My father speaks with nails suspended in his mouth--
The edges of his teeth have chipped.
The people complain his music is too loud,
that his trash is on the floor that goes under their floor.
Some say he did not pay for me to go to school,
that we are theives.
Friends tell me at least you do not look Mexican,
that I am lucky.
My father says they are right
through the nails that hang out of his mouth,
that it is all about the doors.