Rosaria.  Rosaria.
Just fourteen in the promise of the New Land.
Just fourteen with so much ahead.
We are cheated,  We are robbed.
We are sorrow-bound and empty.
Where once we consumed hope and lived on the potent joy of promise,
now we only breathe.
In, out, in, out, in, out.
A chore without will, waiting to be taken.

Rosaria. Rosaria.
They didn’t make them pay.
They reached down deep into their pockets
and gave us a handful of small change
to compensate for taking our life blood.
We are dispensable
like so many scraps of fabric
only good for cleaning bird shit off of windows.

Rosaria.  Rosaria.
Now I carry cloth cuttings
from one factory to the next.
I see your eyes in the eyes of every immigrant.
I hear your laughter in the rumble of the traffic.
I taste your cries in the screams of the gulls.
And I trod on
waiting for the day
when justice will be more than a word on tongues of rich men.



Writers’ Hub Challenge #3 – Picture This
The Prompt: Free write about this picture.

cloth cutter








This picture made me remember a piece of history.

Two fourteen year old girls died in this fire along with 144 others, mostly immigrants.
I imagined this man in the photo as the father of Rosaria.