Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Poem #121 of 365

"Indonesia", one student calls out.
Another tries to say "Brunei Darussalam",
but ends up spelling it out. I've asked
60 young people to look at their shirt
labels, they are twisting about and
squirming to read.

"Japan" and "China" don't surprise me,
but "Columbia" and "Brazil" do.
Nice to know that a kid's clothes can
easily show them that they are connected
to the rest of the world.

I ask them why their clothes are mostly
made in other places. They give me answers
that are guesses, and I choose not to pontificate.
"Slave labor" and "sweatshop" are not words
I want to use so early on this morning.

Instead I point to my own shirt--made in
Thailand--and indicate the three words
prominently displayed on the front:
"Hecho en Tejas". "Made" "in" "Texas".

I ask the students if they were "made in Texas" too,
or are they from here. Quickly I throw in,
"if you got here even just yesterday, you
can still be called a Texan, at least that's
what I believe." All hands shoot up--we're
all Hecho en Tejas, even though it seems
that our clothes are not.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

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