The Paletero Man

On the corner
I see the Paletero man
The bells ringing
My eyes gleaming
Holding a dollar in my right hand
The warm air sticks to my body
The air smells sweet
The fresh cut grass is nice & neat
In the backyard is a party
The sun’s rays dance across my body
Filtering through the trees
My little sister looks up at me
Smiling as salsa music blasts nearby
I smile back as a car races by
Children run in the streets
Playing with peels of laughter to the music’s beat
I stand in my neighborhood
Wishing wishes that never could
Never could be
This is my home I never want to leave
Looking to where the Paletero man stands
I think “this is MY land”
I grew up here
Never living in fear
The people the houses
Their culture surrounds us
Making us their family
Knowing one day soon this won’t be my reality
I yell out to the Paletero man
Waving my dollar in my hand
My sister smiles at me
I smile back
As the Paletero man comes down the block

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