Tia Juana

I approach the city,

Where a dark cloud looms overhead.

Gray dust rises from the ground.

The flag,

Upright and proud:

Green, white, and red.

A large arch in the distance—

Welcome to Tijuana.

“Taxi? Taxi?”

Restaurant workers,

They beckon.

I walk and I don’t see them.

Pigeons fly overhead.

Little shops,

All in a row,

Selling goods nobody wants.

“Hey buddy can you spare some change?”

Walk through the plaza,

Make it to the bridge,

Sewer water flowing under.

People from far off countries

Come here,

Making their home under this dismal bridge.

Men who couldn’t cross,

Men who lost their money,

And now have no hope.

Dirty, beaten, weathered clothes

Upon their backs.

They flock here with innocence,

With dreams

And leave with mere vices.

Ladies, old ladies

Crouched over

on the sides

selling gum,

begging for money.

Women in wheelchairs

With no one behind them

Crossing the street.

The man selling ice cream

His left leg unbending,

His arm also stiff.

On the line to cross over

People selling bracelets

Of saints that don’t save them.

Bands play the music

Of their dear, loved, old country.

We are the privileged

And they are the fighters

Who despite the hunger

And sickness they feel

Go out every day

Without a delay.


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