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by Maria Poblet
San Francisco, California

after the bosses shut down the sewing factory
fired women fill the street
they toss their thimbles and pick up bullhorns
they march to the president but he says
the IMF has tied my hands
we have to keep cutting back
he rolls up the window of his bulletproof car and speeds away
they march to the congress
but find the doors sealed shut
under the weight of starving protesters

so the workers march back
pushing strollers and weighing down on walkers
the march back onto the factory floor
someone dusts the spider webs off the spools of thread
someone summons electricity from the cables above the street
until the first click and whir of a sewing machine sparks a roaring union song

they say que se vayan todos
out with all of them
we can do it ourselves
we will sing and sew and share the profits
they stitch a new song
will feed our families
we will
feed our families
we will feed
our families
and yours
and yours
and yours

About the poet: María Poblet is a queer Latina poet. She has studied poetry under the direction of June Jordan and Martín Espada. She served as Artistic Director of June Jordan's Poetry for the People, and taught poetry workshops at Mission Cultural Center, FCI Dublin Women's Prison, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Her work has been featured in the SF Weekly, Revolutionary Voices, and the Street Sheet. She has been a community organizer in San Francisco’s mission district since 1999, fighting for immigrant Latino tenants’ rights. She agrees with Cape Verdian revolutionary Amilcar Cabral that culture is a weapon in the fight for freedom, and can often be found reading poetry through a bullhorn.

Published in In Motion Magazine February 10, 2008

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