Free Verse Poetry

Ipaglaban

Photo by Jansel Ferma on Pexels.com

You beat us down 
when we dared to wander around 
anywhere outside of “Manila Town” 
(that place You named and constantly told us to go back to”)

And You refused us
our families, our homes, our chance to 
integrate and raise our own

We were not welcome Americans
(if we were even Americans to You at all)
even though we always welcomed You at our doorsteps

To you, we were laborers you said could
do the work better
but that never meant
we would be treated better than 

What we were able to wean
from the little scraps of life
You could be bothered to toss
(dirty and used and shriveled up)
at our cracked feet 

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