by Carol Foresta

To Workers
Black, Brown, Asian, white
whose sinewy arms
drive harvesters
tractors, trucks
trains, transporting
grains, cheese, milk,
soy, coffee, fruit
feeding families

To Farmers
whose calloused hands
nurture plants
bending boughs
buffeted by winds
tending tornado
flooded fields
fattening cows
squealing pigs
crushing chickens’
feathers flying
barely breathing
turning our needs
for more always more
into reasons for
exploiting our
bottomless hunger

To Migrants
suffering unmasked
still undeterred
picking, plucking, sorting
grapes untainted
under smoky skies
dyed orange an
apocalyptic vision of
hell framing formerly
defined rows of vines
promising paradise
to thirsty tasters

To Builders
creating constructing
houses into homes
bridges into
tribal connectors
stitching various
into crazy quilts
molding cement
tunnels into pathways
linking states,
paving roads,
stringing wires
mixing concrete
packing sand
fighting fires

To Women
worn thin with
rounded shoulders
humbled by effort
faces lined
muscles aching
stressing, straining
barely sustaining
shoulders carrying
history’s weight
stirring story soup
sharing, savoring
immortalizing telling
rescuing revealing deep
scars barely healing
insatiable hunger

To Teachers,
seeking students
questioning minds asking
do Black Lives really Matter?
while knees on necks
bullets in backs facts reveal
unforgotten unforgiven sins
seeds planted in slavery ground
watered by tears of innocence
growing resistance into resilience
creating unstoppable tidal
waves in limitless oceans
tasting revolution
sparks fueling protests
demanding, witnessing, feeding
aspirations, hopes, fears knowing
without justice there will be no peace!