Pico-Union: "...Do You Fear for Your Child?"
mural on the corner of Venice and Valencia

Mexican Mothers

Mexican mothers...
I could never love you -
so completely foreign,
too utterly different -
but I have learned
a most profound respect
for your person.

A pure heart and unselfish love,
beautiful white votive candles
and praying to the Virgen de Guadalupe
for su hija sick with la leucemia,
you aspire so much more for your
lovely precious children,
raised here in the United States.

We were always a good team,
you and I, the mother and the teacher;
a partnership for the edification
of young minds and souls
we both desperately
wanted to see succeed.

But something happens
between the dignified Mexican
and honorable American traditions
and all too often your children
end up in the middle,
despite our best efforts;
fluent neither in
English nor in Spanish;
neither a caballero mexicano
nor an American gentleman:
arriving at the ugly nexus
of the unholy cholo.

Gangsters throw hand signs
Gangsters at gathering throw hand signs.
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