Poem – I Say A Prayer For You (By Narges Rothermel)

When I pile up cut tomatoes, red onion, and radishes

on top of romaine lettuce, I think of the hands that

picked, cleaned, packed, and loaded them on trucks,

carried them to cold rooms arranged them on shelves.

As I remember stories of my father, a new comer

a child-laborer in another era in another country,


I say a prayer for you


With every piece of bread in my hand,

every corn kernel on my plate, in my bowl

while savoring a few strawberries in the morning

I see you in screen of my mind, picking them with

hands covered with calluses your feet buried in mud

your back pained from bending all day from dawn

to dusk, all for a few dollar an hour. I put down

the bread, the meal, and the berries


I say a prayer for you


I watch the evening news, see you who have crossed

the border without a permit in pursuit of a dream,

I watch the border patrols chasing you

from ditch to ditch in hot dry summer days

or at dark scary nights till you fall face down

on the ground, guns pointing at your head

I say a prayer for you.


~ Narges Rothermel