Thank you to the Cleaning Ladies


Tiny - Posted on 21 August 2011

Author: 
Tony Robles

Thank you to the cleaning ladies, the ladies that lug vacuums and buckets with cleaning aids.  Thank you for coming in, even when you’re tired and sick and sick and tired; thank you for being humble yet strong.  I sit at my desk at this apartment complex--a seemingly innocuous, colorless concierge--polishing the marble counter top that covers everything but my face.  I can’t hide my brown face from the mirror of your face when you walk through the door.  Your face is brown too.  Your indigenous face is the landscape that the man cannot strip.  In your face I see the history of this land.  In your indigenous face I see the journey of a better life, a dream cradled like a thousand bursting suns.  Thank you for your journey.  Thank you for the journals written in your hands, your face.  I sit and write in my journal.  I write what I see when I see your face.  The pages are a landscape etched in fire, barbed wire, fences, walls—struggle; yet the landscape is reborn day to day bearing your presence.  I say thank you for your heart, your bravery, your tenderness, your laughter.  Thank you for holding it together when it comes apart.  Thank you for mending and soothing the creases of our hearts.  Thank you for planting the seeds which grow in our minds.  Thank you for smiling when you feel like crying.  Thank you for your fight, your struggle.  Thank you.

...are you finally admitting that you feel guilty for how you have been shirking, instead of working, at every job you have held since starting to write for this site?

and start accomplishing something. A mop is that thing you use to clean up the drool (thoughts) that comes from the side of your mouth. Make sure it's an industrial strength mop.

...when that's more work than you've done all year?

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