I look for you everywhere…

daddy's plant

Asphalt plant I built from the ground up, as project manager, with only a high school education, plus twenty years of hands on experience.

Dear Chicano,

What I wouldn’t give to hold you in my arms again, alone, without the cruelty of guards who don’t seem to understand that you are the father of my two boys, who look at me each day with your eyes – beautiful, big and brown, and whose hearts are bursting for you to come home.

What part of my soul would I not sell to wake up this morning and smell your skin as you roll over, brushing my nose as you pull me close.

How lovely and exotic you looked, your olive skin reddened by the summer sun, as you were tangled in our sheets from hours of love making the night before.

In all my life, and even with all of my lovers, there was never another who knew me inside and out, could make my body open and meld as yours did.

The vibrancy and energy you gave off drew many to you, men and women, because you saw the good in people, and worked along side your crew when the asphalt covered the trucks because a new operator was running the silo, or the truck driver forgot to close the bed door before receiving a load.

Many times you worked through breakfast, lunch and dinner, seventeen hour days, sometimes atop a 35 foot silo in a thunderstorm because it had to be fixed. You did whatever it took to do your job with the highest caliber of performance, because you took pride in your work, in YOUR plant.

With only a high school education, you were able to oversee the complete building of an asphalt plant, from the ground up.  How many men with degrees can do this?

You knew every part of that plant, and could walk outside and listen to her hum and banging of the bins, chutes, and belts; could tell before it gave which component needed repair, even down to worn out ball bearings.

You did no less with every part of me.

I look for you everywhere – every white truck I see when driving, follow every trail of cigarette smoke, slow down at every road construction crew to breathe in the scent of hot tar, dust, and gravel that covered you like a mantle of dedication and work ethic when you were mine.

I’m afraid to cry at night because I do not want the boys to hear, the pain of grief searing my bowels. When I do, it scares them, the sadness is so profound.

So, even if I am forced to visit you behind a glass jar, like a speciman insect on display, in handcuffs, an innocent man, in America, America, do you hear me? I will drive my two hours, praying I don’t get caught speeding again, an urgency to be there, with you, for you, speaking out, a voice alone in a sea- this angry, discriminating, greedy system who walks on the back of the poor and unaware – praying for justice, praying for peace of mind, praying that one day, I will wake up and find your lovely bald head on my pillow once again.

I miss you.


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