As Hummingbirds Wing

north with the spring
above rutted tracks where human feet broken
dirty wounded aching blistered beat paths
converging where they hope to find freedom or
at least something better than where

they’ve stood rooted to street corners
regardless of weather selling gum at age eight
pedaling lottery tickets on the slender median
between lumbering rush hour traffic at age ten
while friends from the better side of town
are walked home by nannies while other feet
by age twelve will climb buses in the dark to work
the markets trundling home the bruised fruits

feet burning with the shimmering quartz of broken
sidewalks, feet blackened with the earth of fincas,
feet pounding out their place among the haves
and have nots, feet kicking in bare classrooms
where children share booksdesksbread eager
to learn but whose feet will drag as they drop out
to feed themselves and their families and who finally
cross over to go where other feet walk endless rows

to sow and harvest crops pluck peach and pear
from orchards laden to the breaking in a country
to the north content to live even in company towns
air misted with pesticides only to return south
trading winter for summer’s struggle for survival

feet willing to walk hundreds of miles trying to leave
behind memories of heads heaped in doorways
bodies dumped in ditches women defiled
futures full of hopelessness and raw fear
roads always ending in dead

feet traveling aboveground
no way stations of kindness
but tent cities razor wire separation
even as those others along the coast
with papers and without work beneath
the knowing gaze of savvy overseers
to heft crops to truck rail grocery stomach
while behind footprints bleed into the dirt.