Syndic No. 37 ~ 10th Anniversary Special Issue Cover
Syndic Literary Journal

Syndic No.37 ~ Jennifer Lagier

A Matter of Conscience

(for Maria Corralejo)

By Monterey Bay Poet Jennifer Lagier

I see women cannery workers on strike

whose only bargaining tools

consist of faith, eight days

of prayer and self-imposed hunger.

 

Today, Sureño gang members

carry management-provided weapons,

patrol concertina wire corridors

between busloads of scabs and picket-line labor.

 

My friend, the tenth child

of immigrant field hands,

describes 400 women and children

falling to their knees,

dragging themselves slowly

in protest toward a church

down the Watsonville highway.

 

Sometimes, she tells me,

there is nothing left

to place between greed

and the poor

except our own bodies.

 

 

 

 

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