Link to Archive of Weekly Issues To the women who have disappeared from Ciudad Juárez for nine years

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Poems By Us

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: March 22, 2001
Latest update: March 22, 2002
E-Mail Curran or Takata.

Die Eltern by Kathe Kollwitz
Die Eltern (The Parents) by Kathe Kollwitz

To the women who have disappeared
from Ciudad Juárez for nine years

By Adela Lozano (1)

They came from the outskirts of Juárez
They came from the city itself

They all were brown-eyed and brown-haired
All had long hair
All were poor

Some were little girls
Some were teens
Some were in their mid-twenties
All of them were poor

They had to walk alone through the red-light district-
the worst of Juárez

They walked past the gangbangers flashing their signs
Past the pobres begging for money
Past the prostitutes selling their "merchandise"
Past the street vendors selling their wares
Past the borrachos whistling and shouting at them
Past the druggies snorting crack up their nose

They were scared but hid their fear
and kept on walking down those dark miserable streets

The bus picked them up when they left the red-light district
and took them for the next forty-five minutes
Then they were at work, at the American factories
Where they worked all night

Now time to go, they get back on the bus

He watches them getting off the bus
Entering the red-light district once again
They're so tired and scared

He follows close behind
A smile on his face

They walk the path where the others were found dead
Raped and killed by the same man
Some beaten so bad, the police wouldn't let their mothers see
Others still missing but everyone knows
they won't be coming home

They walk faster home but he's too fast
He grabs them from behind

Did they plead for him to stop?
Did they plead to be let go?
Did he tell them he picked them because they were poor?

For years young women have disappeared
Their bodies telling the story of their last day

The police grab innocent men as scapegoats to confess
what they have never done
Each year saying that the case has been solved
But more girls are raped and killed

Is this murderer Mexican
filled with hatred for these working women?

Is this murderer an American
who comes to Juárez by day and never leaves by night?

Or is this murderer an officer bribing his men?
Is he an elite controlling the police?

Nobody knows who he is
They only know everyday a new body is found

But the young women still have to work
So they walk the path where their sisters, friends, and cousins were found
Praying to God that they'll come home tonight

But he waits for them, watching their every move

While you are reading this long poem
Still another will die

Adela Lozano



Copyright: Jeanne Curran, Susan R. Takata, Adela Lozano, and Individaul Authors, March 2002.
"
Fair use" encouraged.

Adela Lozano is one of Susan's students. She sent us this poem to share. As I read it, I could not but think of Kathe Kollwitz' depictions of the trials of war, poverty, and dominance. Link on the image for a larger version and visit a brief biography and more of her work. She painted during the First and Second World Wars, losing her son in World War I and her grandson in World War II.