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Veteranos Day Parade
Dr. Mario Padilla


Think of the number sacrificed, proud mexica sons
on temple stones, in feathered robes for love and honor of the gods;
the ones with holes in their chests would know how glory is won.

The first to raise a hand to a Spanish gun, the Creoles who chased
and hung Maximillian, would know how glory is won.
Think of the number sacrificed, proud mexica sons,

whose fathers witnessed tagged toes for verification,
whose mothers were comforted by purple commendations,
the ones with holes in their chests would know how glory is won.

They are marching in East LA waving flags today, red, white,
some with blue, others green—los veteranos of American wars.
Think of the number sacrificed, proud mexica sons,

twisting upright from sound of jungle fire or swirling desert sands,
gurney'd half-bodies broken and splattered in blood-stinking vans;
the ones with holes in their chests would know how glory is won,

know body bags and the piles on which they are slung,
as politicians claim immigrants destroy and only slay their own.
Think of the number they’ll sacrifice next time, proud mexica sons;
the ones with holes in their chests will know how glory is won.

 

Mario Rene Padilla's poetry and fiction have appeared in numerous periodicals, such as North American Review, The Antioch Review, New Letters, Americas Review, Atlanta Review, Visions International, Negative Capability, INKWELL Magazine, Chiron Review, and Explorations 2000. Currently, he is working on an ongoing collection of short stories entitled Journey to Tenochtitlan, which focuses on the Mexican-American experience, the issues and challenges of cross-cultural identity. Mr. Padilla recieved a B.S. degree from the Ohio State University, M.A. in English from Loyola Marymount, and a Ph. D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California. He is a full-time instructor of Creative Writing, English and Latin American Literature at Santa Monica College.

 

To all the fallen Aztecs
Verònica Lòpez


All the brown pride mexica sons cut short
Smelling of Tres Flores, hair slicked back, locs, white t-shirt, baggy creased Dickies, and Nikes
The uniform of the Aztec Warriors of the barrios para varrios
Boast of the latest fallen rival mexica son

The first to pump up the “Warriors” to grab a gun, jump in the Regal like knights men
To avenge revenge for Azteca “Speedy”
That was killed in front of his house, in front of his mexica mother and youngest brother, while taking out the groceries from his Monte
He never saw them coming, he wasn’t able to live up to his nickname

If his mother had known that letting him go to Sneakys to lift weights would have saved his life to see another day
Would she have walked to the market and just pushed the purple basket home?
She’ll never know.

Six mexica sons are carrying out the casket to give Speedy his first and last ride in the hearse
The mexica familia dressed in dark colors grieving the fallen mexica son
And the Warriors mourn the fallen Aztec

All for pride of territory that they will never own
For colors no-one owns
For reasons forgotten with time

For not loving and embracing all of the mexica tribe members
They who are stronger united then divided.

Verònica Lòpez was born and raised in Santa Monica, California; currently she is a sociology major at SMC and is involved with campus activities such as EOPS, Pico Partnership program, Adelante program, Black Collegians program, The Women’s College, and Disability Center. Writing has been a source of therapy for the author.

 

 

 

 

 
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