Blind Eye

Young Mexican picker man

rises from a mattress on the floor

of a dilapidated trailer

shared with nine other mattresses.


buys a chicken bag lunch

from the local seller of chicken bag lunches

and climbs on board the contractor bus

with contractor boss man.


Young Mexican picker man

plucks tomatoes to fill his bucket

under the blazing Florida sun

his sweat anointing our Florida earth.


Piece work at forty five cents a bucket

thirty two pounds of tomatoes

less than penny and a half a pound.

It is cheaper to rent slaves than to own them.


Picker man wants a tiny house

circa de su familia

and so he toils for his woman and son

in plain sight yet sight unseen by all of us

for all of us the blind eye turned.


Behind the gates of  Mar-a-Lago

in the county of the picker man

amid the laughter

a black tie ball.


Christ in the Eucharist

as invisible as the cost of red tomato

mixed with an ounce of vodka

a poor man’s labor and a dash of

a woman’s tears.




These Workers Battled Slavery-Like Conditions — and Won

About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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6 Responses to Blind Eye

  1. jfwknifton says:

    What worries me is “What happened to Christian charity in so many countries who claim to be Christian?”


    • toritto says:

      Heehee. You mean those thin lipped folks sitting in the pews each Sunday muttering “In God we trust; all others pay cash!”? Here in Florida the “Fair Food” program began several years ago. Tired of asking the farmers for better wages, the activists went to the mass buyers of tomatoes and asked for a penny more a pound to go directly to the pickers. The likes of Big Mac and Wal-Mart eventually signed up. The super markets, lead by Publix are still resisting. A penny a pound from all the buyers puts an additional $50 – 70 dollars a week in a migrant’s paycheck. Publix takes the capitalist stance – the farmers should pay better wages and price their product accordingly. The farmers say their wages are dictated by market conditions. Too many in the supply chain don’t want to pay a fukkin extra penny. Christian indeed.


  2. beetleypete says:

    Exploitation has never gone away. You can call it ‘casual labour’, ‘day-rate contracts’, or whatever you like. It is still just exploitation though.
    Good one, Frank.
    Best wishes, Pete.


    • toritto says:

      These folks are taking jobs away from real Americans! Build a wall. Deport them all. Pick you own damn tomatoes. (and Trump owns Mar a Lago, in the Palm Beach County of the picker men and adjacent Collier County. Regards


  3. sojourner says:

    Reblogged this on An Outsider's Sojourn II and commented:
    No man is an island,
    Entire of itself,
    Every man is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
    Or of thine own were:
    Any man’s death diminishes me,
    Because I am involved in mankind,
    And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
    It tolls for thee.

    John Donne


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