Archive for November, 2020


“When you are organizing a group of people, the first thing that we do is we talk about the history of what other people have been able to accomplish – people that look like them, workers like them, ordinary people, working people – and we give them the list: these are people like yourself; this is what they were able to do in their community.” – Dolores Huerta

I see the weariness surrounding your eyes. You smile as if nothing has happened; stoic – committed. I am at this very moment, the most important person before you. You smile wide. I see the bags you carry to our cars – our weekly supplies; some remain seated inside their metal box, staring at their phones – meanwhile, you start loading our groceries … Should we ask you if you need help? You work hard for your money – minimum wage I am told. It is for your family too, for your kids, your spouse – in and out, striving to make ends meet. What is your name? Where are you originally from? Jamaica you said? Lovely place; I was vacationing there once. Very friendly people; great smiles, just like yours. Hard to pronounce your name, but it is very melodious.

Don’t feel treated like an object, like some creature walking by to simply discard when unneeded. Don’t worry; I can find the items if I take the time – which aisle you said? Yes, it’s snowing outside, a bit cold, it’s the wind you know – it takes time to adjust to this “windshield factor” thing. The seasonal celebrations are coming soon – it should be a day in which we manifest our respect and appreciation for the work you do. Of course you were not born to be our servant; sometimes we forget you too are a person, with very real feelings, deep emotions, and a story.

I see you have some new items on this shelf – special pricing no less. You are not perfect – neither am I, you work here with dignity – I must shop here with respect – you ask for nothing less. My gender doesn’t matter – my body is fluid, it is a long day and when we have a sale, people get a bit crazy, not sure how far we have evolved as species really. And why must we consume so much? Yes; I hear you – we must treat each other properly, black Friday or not. Yes, I see you – how are your children? Is there something you need? Glances are exchanged; what are your intentions? Yes; the meat is fresh. See behind you? Someone else awaits my attention – behind your mask, remember to smile, please.

© Leo Campos Aldunez, Edmonton, AB (Canada)

Music: Yo vengo a ofrecer mi corazón © Fito Páez

Performed by Daniel Diaz, Jafet Murguia, and friends.

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