Monday, March 29, 2004

Sheer poetry 

I was reading my weekly issue of The New Yorker today. There's an article about a Hispanic woman living in a slum of Brownsville, Texas, recently out of work by an outsourced job--her Fruit of the Loom job moved to Honduras. She's been in a job-training program, graduated with honors, and now she's having a difficult time finding a job.

She attributes part of the problem not with her English--which is accented, but more than adequate--but a more subtle inability to communicate, which the author writes was ingrained in her in the migrant field work she did as a child. She learned to be shy, and not stick out, because as a young girl in the fields it was simply safer that way.

But now she wishes she could be more direct. Here's what she says about that:

"But the stillness of a thirty-three-year-old woman being interviewed at a downtown Brownsville chiropractor could easily be mistaken for stupidity. Lupita longed to have at her command, in any language, 'those big round words that explain better what goes on in your mind, and which help people know who you are. I mean, those proper words that come from the deeps of a person, and that burn a little when they're spoken.'"

Longing for those words...don't we all?

This woman is more than a chiropractor's receptionist. She's a POETESS. Stopped ME in my tracks...



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