Pat Mora (Author)
A poem about discrimination along the Texas-Mexico border.
In Mexico they bowed
their heads when she passed.
Timid villagers stepped aside
for the Judge's mother, Doña Luz,
who wore her black shawl, black
gloves whenever she left her home—
at the church, the mercado, and the plaza
Title: Bailando en Sombras
María L. Leyba (Author)
A poet dreams of her lost mother.
I lay curled in a veil of luto
wide awake, eyelids that refuse to close
hungry for my Mother's Tongue
my restless soul drawn like magnets
to sacred grounds
donde bailo en sombras
buscando mi querida madrecita.
Mama's favorite rancheras
Norma Elia Cantú (Author)
Author Norma Elia Cantú and her family have crossed the US-Mexico border many times to visit their relatives.
Bueli and Mami and Papi crossed the bridge on foot from one Laredo to the other; they took turns carrying me, or maybe only pushing my blue stroller. Chirinola, our dog, came too, papers and all. It was 1948. For Bueli the move brought back memories,...
Title: El Corrido de Inmigrante (Ballad of an Immigrant)
Source(s): Alambrista and the U.S.-Mexico Border: Film, Music, and Stories of Undocumented Workers; Mexican Voices/American Dreams: An Oral History of Mexican Immigration to the United States
Unidentified (Author); Nicholas J. Cull (Editor); Marilyn P. Davis
A Mexican ballad, or corrido, about how sad people are when they have to leave home to go to the United States.
Mexico, my homeland, where I was born,
Give me the benediction of your powerful hand,
I’m going to the United States to earn my living,
Good-bye, my beloved country, I carry you in my heart,
Don’t condemn me for leaving my country,
Title: El Deportado (The Deportee)
Source(s): Alambrista and the U.S.-Mexico Border: Film, Music, and Stories of Undocumented Workers; El Deportado, Texas-Mexican Border Music, Part I, Arhollie Records (Berkeley, 1975)
Unidentified (Artist); Nicholas J. Cull (Editor); David Carrasco (Editor)
A ballad, or corrido, from the time of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920).
Adios mi madre querida,
Hechame su benedición,
Ya me voy al extranjero,
Donde no hay revolución.
Goodbye my beloved mother,
Give me your blessings,
I am going abroad,
Where there is no revolution.
Title: El Venadito
Source(s): Alambrista and the U.S.- Mexico Border: Film, Music, and Stories of Undocumented Workers
José B. Cuellar (Author); Nicholas J. Cull (Editor); David Carrasco (Editor)
José B. Cuellar rewrote the lyrics of the second verse of this classic, two-hundred-year-old Mexican ballad, or corrido, to describe peoples experience crossing the US-Mexico today.
I’m a poor little deer who lives
In the hills
Since I’m not very tame, I don’t
Come down during daylight
By night little by little and into
Your arms my dear
I climbed the highest hill to
See the plains
Where eagles triumph, hawks...
Title: Chihuahua: Pictures from the Edge (excerpt)
Source(s): Chihuahua: Pictures from the Edge
Charles Bowden (Author); Virgil Hancock (Photographer)
A visit to Pancho Villas hacienda in Chihuahua, Mexico.
I walk into General Villa’s room and truly the windows are demolished. The roof too has collapsed and out the door local villagers sit in the shade and lean against the crumbling walls and talk with drunken merriment. I know at this very moment in ...
Pat Mora (Author)
A poem describing immigrants hope that their children will fit into US society.
wrap their babies in the American flag,
feed them mashed hot dogs and apple pie,
name them Bill and Daisy,
buy them blonde dolls that blink blue
eyes or a football and tiny cleats
before the baby can even walk,
speak to them in thick Engl...
Title: I’ve Done My Bit on the Border
Source(s): Chapter Four: Revenge and Reprisal; Border Fury: A Picture Postcard Record of Mexico’s Revolution and U.S. War Preparedness, 1910-1917
James J. Verhoeks (Author); Paul J. Vanderwood (Author); Frank N. Samponaro (Author)
A poem by a bugler in the 32nd Michigan Infantry, which served on the US-Mexico border in 1916.
I’ve done my bit on the border
I wish I was in God’s country again
I’ve had my fill of the border
Of Greasers and border men
I’ve eaten the dirt of Texas
I’ve drank of the Rio Grande
I’ve grubbed mesquite in the cursed heat
Title: Legal Alien
Pat Mora (Author)
Poem about a legal alien who doesn’t fit in on either side of the border.
able to slip from “How’s life?”
to “Me’stan volviendo loca,”
able to sit in a paneled office
drafting memos in smooth English,
able to order in fluent Spanish
at a Mexican restaurant,
American but hyphenate...