poem index

Invisibility

Renato Rosaldo
We celebrate their days,
eat hot dogs, love baseball,
but they say we were born to weed, 
change diapers, carry crates in the grey of dawn
while they sleep. Awake, they look at us without seeing.

We see ourselves clearly, know ourselves
precisely, without parades and picnics.
To survive, we must.

I'm one of the invisible living among the notable.
Day after day I hear doors shut, 
stumble over slurs, and bump into the man
who nods yes, yes, but isn't listening.

From What Have You Lost?, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye, published by Greenwillow. Copyright © 1999 by Renato Rosaldo. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Renato Rosaldo