Immigrant Tide

Mexican boys: smallish frames, sooty and soccer-footed.
Mama y Papa thrust you out into the states,
casting the sign of the cross over you like a soft shadow;
you bob in and out my classroom door.

Luis is smarter than his English,
constructing irony in simple sentences.

Ruben is doubtful already.
Book jackets fail to incite; translations do not fill the gut.
Is it simply adults? Forever getting things botched,
no matter the language?

And Jarim, we’ve decided as a class,
has the skin-tone of Jesus.
Darker than the others,
illuminated from the inside by that something.
Perhaps his mother saw the merciful vision…
Our Lady of Guadalupe?
That day she packed her family,
cheeks flushed with epiphany,
immigrant child in her womb,
as she tore for Texas.

Tidal, she makes the sign of the Cross
over you,
over all of you.
Morning and night.
Vaya Con Dios.