Poem for the Immigrants on the Corner of Cesar Chavez in San Francisco

Portside Date:
Author: A.D. Winans
Date of source:
Paterson Literary Review

Poem for the Immigrants on the Corner
of Cesar Chavez in San Francisco

By A.D. Winans

you see them standing on the corner
day in and day out
in boiling sun or bitter cold
waiting for a car to stop
a driver to offer them work
at below minimum pay
in the fields or sweat shops
no questions asked
no quarter given
men and women who risk drowning
to cross the border

they wear a cross to ward off evil
pick your food bus your tables
skin cracked from the sun
ignore the eyes that follow them
the long arm of the law
the cruel words from ignorant tongues

These men with skin dark as dirt
with a wife and children
with needs like you and me
never lose their dignity
never lose their faith 
never lose their hope of becoming
part of the American dream

A.D. Winans is an award-winning native San Francisco Poet and writer. Awards include a San Francisco Arts and Letters Foundation Literary Arts Award for outstanding achievements and contributions in the Literary Arts, A Kathy Acker Award in Poetry and Publishing, a PEN National Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature, and a PEN Oakland Lifetime Achievement Award.

Source URL: https://portside.org/2022-09-02/poem-immigrants-corner-cesar-chavez-san-francisco