The workers in my backyard are doing yard work. The pruning of the trees, the leveling of the hedges. Their supervisor is in the front and these boys dont know I can see them from where I sit. Nestled in the corner of our yard, a purple ball tossed over long ago and long forgotten by a child who perhaps had one toy too many, has lay untouched for years.
The workers in the backyard are Mexican. And because their supervisor is out front, they are playing soccer with this purple wayward ball. Beads of sweat forming on their heads, as they head butt it back and forth. Its strange to watch them. Because when they first arrived, they were Workers. Immigrants. Migrants. Perhaps Illegal. And as I watch them head butt and use the fanciest ways they can find to spin the ball, they are none of these labels, they are undeniably… boys. Boys just as the boys in the favelas of Rio De Janeiro, working solemnly in upscale Ipanema and then laughing as they played soccer well into the night. Which favelas of my city while you be in tonight?
As I sit here, one just caught my eye, his carefree expression vanished as a reddening blush spreads across his face and he motions to the other to return to work. And as I see these boys walk back to the shears and clippers I notice their shoulders visibly droop, their gait seeming to me, this outsider, tired and worn down… downtrodden embodied in a person succinctly.