Armando Guerrero Estrada

 

We, the Hidden People
 
Portions of Puerto Rico remain
Without electricity or running faucets
 
You find no wrong at
Standing Rock, hosing
Innocent people standing their ground
 
You use the water of Flint, Michigan
To poison our children
 
Knives penetrate the gallons
Left behind on the migrants’ paths
 
Yet you claim that a shortage of water
Keeps you from providing aide
 
But somehow your church always seems to have
Enough water to bathe away all of your sins.
 
No, I do not have to remind you that
Water is Life.
You keep it from us
Like you try to keep our humanity.
 
Your plan is to break us
But what you do not know is that
We are like bread used for communion,
Which when broken feeds
The most mouths.
 
Like a piñata at the height of a fiesta
When broken brings the most joy.
We may be broken
But will not be defeated.
 
We are the grains of wheat that
Soar in the winds of our ancestral lands.
 
We are the keys that freed the
Shackled limbs of our ancestors.
The same keys that today free our
Jailed brothers and sisters.
 
We are the prickly pear flowers
That bloom in the arid heat
Of the deserts we cross.
 
We, the hidden people,
Like yeast in an infernal oven
We Rise.


Born in Mexico and reared in Southeast Texas, Armando Guerrero Estrada holds a Master of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt University Divinity School, where he focused on the intersections of religion and literature. Currently a doctoral student at Boston College, his research and creative writing focuses on the intersections of religion and social (in)justice.


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