Peace in Labor’s House

A vision before and after Botto House American Labor Museum, Haledon, New Jersey
by Ángel L. Martínez
18-28 sept 2015

entre los edificios grandes y monstruosos
entre los jardines verdes y tranquilos

When the gathering is called
what are the words to be spoken?

We have witnessed struggles
against shocking, brutal forces

We have stood up against
the choking smoke emerging from the mills

entre los edificios grandes y monstruosos
entre los jardines verdes y tranquilos

In later years manifested as the inflaming stench
of the medicine mills
where I once walked past to school
through an asthmatic valley

Years later, it inflames the heart
into a mass march of movement

At once, I find peace in labor’s house
under shade tree, facing visions of forgotten smokestacks
imagining the thousands
standing up against industrial lungbusters

entre los edificios grandes y monstruosos
entre los jardines verdes y tranquilos

amid large and monstrous buildings
amid green and peaceful gardens

amid the center of the fight
amid the center of the fruits of our labors

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