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5 to 9


Tired muscles, tired eyes
Can’t sleep through this Oaxacan night
He’s kept away from dreaming, haunted by thoughts of failing
The family whom he shares a bed
A tiny room even less bread
He cries out to himself silently

I am not a man
I can’t feed my children
This is no life for them

So he’s out of bed with the sunrise
He kisses his wife and kids goodbye
Then heads north to the border
To work, become a provider
But gathered at the country line
Are protesters all holding signs
He can’t read but translates perfectly

I am not a man
I’m just a Mexican
Illegal immigrant

The politicians the pundits the public debate
But one question’s lost in policy
"Is a man not a man if he’s born outside a boundary?"
Stumbling through the desert alone and afraid
He almost dies from the heat
But he thinks of his family and that keeps him going
He won’t stop for death least the laws of a country
Arrested is no threat when you’re already living unfree

So he works the fields from 5 to 9
Plus any job that he can find
Saves up all his money, sends it to his family
Before he falls asleep at night
A thousand miles from his life
He assuredly repeats

I am a human
A father a husband
A global citizen

Not a debatable statistic
I’m not your problem economic
I’m not a threat to patriotic
That’s idiotic
I am a…

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