Monday, January 30, 2006


This is a poem written by author Teresa Ortiz. In 1995, she moved with her family from Guatemala to Chiapas, Mexico. Since then she has worked the Zapatista, many of whom are indigenous campesinos (rural subsistence farmers), in order to spread the word of their struggle to preserve their culture and fight for autonomy.

In every corner you see me
every day.
From so much seeing me,
you stop seeing me.
            In every corner you see me.
            and you no longer see me
            because you don't want to see me.
You ignore me,
you pass me by.
I am there and you act as if I weren't there.
When I talk to you
              you don't listen
              you don't answer
              you walk away.
I am there
in every corner of the city,
sitting on the sidewalk
with a child tied to my back
and another one playing by my side.
              I am there
              Wearing a multicolor
              flowered blouse,
              woolen skirt,
              bare feet.
                          I am there
                          selling dolls with ski-masked faces,
                          with rifles in hand,
                          with wooden horses.
                                      And you,
                                      only pass me by.
I wonder:
If I myself had
            a ski-masked face
            and rifle in hand,
                          what then
                          would you do?
                                      would you talk to me then?
                                      would you just pass me by?

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