Mouths full of laughter,
the turistas come to the tall hotel
with suitcases full of dollars.

Every morning my brother makes
the cool beach new for them.
With a wooden board he smooths
away all footprints.

I peek through the cactus fence
and watch the women rub oil
sweeter than honey into their arms and legs
while their children jump waves
or sip drinks from long straws,
coconut white, mango yellow.

Once my little sister
ran barefoot across the hot sand
for a taste.

My mother roared like the ocean,
“No. No. It’s their beach.
It’s their beach.”


April is National Poetry Month and every day the peaceCENTER will be posting a poem about walls, fences, edges, borders. . . you get the idea. Walls that separate us, protect us, define us, challenge us . . . we collected these poems for our Walls Symposium in 2009.

Pat Mora, born in El Paso in 1942, is a Mexican-American author of poetry, nonfiction and children’s books.

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