Si, se puede

Cesar Chavez, Cesar Chavez
A man, Mexican American,
a Mexi-man.
Lacy Telles, not Tell-us
Tay-yes, entiende?
Biking down the streets of San Francisco
Crossing Cesar Chavez Street
Not paying attention at first
Until I biked by Cesar Chavez Elementary
Until I got a day off of school
Until I took a picture of the mural
in the Mission District, rainbow eyes
inside the weathered face.
I didn’t know that Cesar Chavez
was a pioneer, a leader, a man
willing to stand
up for human rights, Chicano rights
(And do you know what Chicano means?)
And not just Chicanos, but workers.
Workers exploited, abused,
you know the story
but just because you’ve heard it all before
does not mean you know.
The parade that parades down the streets
of the Mission does not tell the tale
of the man who fasted
does not tell the tale
of the man who prayed
does not tell the tale
of the man who fought
for the freedom of others,
not just his children, but yours too.
And if you are a farm worker
March 31st isn’t just another day
on your calendar
and if you are a union worker
you know that these things are never easy,
have never been easy
And if you, like me, find yourself
riding a bicycle down the spine
of the San Francisco history book,
past the produce markets and
taquerias of Valencia Street,
remember the man
Si, se puede.