Jorge the Church Janitor Finally Quits

Photograph of Noe Reyes from the Superheroes project by Dulce Pinzón.

Photograph of Noe Reyes from the Superheroes project by Dulce Pinzón.

In honor of Labor Day, when we observe the social and economic achievements of American workers and their contributions to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country, I offer this wonderful poem by Martín Espada.

 

 

 

 

 

Jorge the Church Janitor Finally Quits

No one asks
where I am from,
I must be
from the country of janitors,
I have always mopped this floor.
Honduras, you are a squatter’s camp
outside the city
of their understanding.

No one can speak my name,
I host the fiesta
of the bathroom,
stirring the toilet
like a punchbowl.
The Spanish music of my name
is lost
when the guests complain
about toilet paper.

What they say
must be true:
I am smart
but I have a bad attitude.

No one knows
that I quit tonight,
maybe the mop
will push on without me,
sniffing along the floor
like a crazy squid
with stringy gray tentacles.
They will call it Jorge.

~Martín Espada