Brown as earth, smooth and cracked
by the relentless slaughter
of sun and wind on once soft skin
Strong, sad, resolute face
tied to work worn shoulders
by thick black braids
Two deep brown pools hiding the pain
that only barely escaped in hints
of harsh and hungry days.
Onesima folded leather hands
in her purple apron
on top of her more purple dress
And struggled to keep her eyes open
while her campesino husband
told of reality on the parched land.
The two deep brown pools caught the sunlight filtering through the thatch
and searched the cluttered yard
of former times and days to come
all just the same
when one is busy surviving.
"To be able to keep working when I'm old
is my dream,"
she said qu ietly
knowing the necessity
and not hoping
Oh, Onesima, my sister. . . .
we sit in your dusty dirt-floored
and eat your sweet oranges
sucking on your generosity
about justice and hope.