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By Frank Kearns

A courtyard by Olvera Street
chairs and microphone arranged
adults – teachers, volunteers

in front a dozen students stand
one steps up when introduced
and begins to speak

her voice sails north from Sinaloa
past Sonora’s ancient sands
El Paso and Los Angeles

she speaks of rising past her past
dreams the future bright and we
sitting in the audience agree

but who among us dreams
the white of blinding spotlights
cutting shadows in the night

who among us knows
of sitting on a dark El Paso curb
of seeing van doors swallow fathers

as the flashing reds and blues
reflect off the bits of trash and oil
to tattoo lines across her mind

that darkens like a child’s scribble
whenever it is time for her
to dream about America

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