By Sylvia Castañeda
Antonia hardly knew Francisco. Still, he returned often enough to leave her with a child each time. Three more children were born within a nine-year period. Her second child died at the age of 2, two months before her third was born. After the birth of her fourth child, her mother-in-law spoke sternly to Francisco about his responsibility to his wife and children. His place was with them. If he decided to leave, again, he’d have to take his family along. ..."
"... As the sun peeked above the Ventura skyline, a sweet aroma cut through the haze. Workers set up a table, spreading it with bread and coffee. They sat there – braceros and firefighters together – atop the hillside, amid the embers. Don Luis poured a cup of coffee and bit into the bread. It filled his empty stomach.
Then he and his buddies followed the foreman for the downhill trek and drive back to the bracero camp, where lemons and oranges waited to be picked. ..."
By Michel Stone
"... We not talking in there. But then one man he get very crazy in the head,” Angel says, his perpetual smile lost now. “Is very bad. He screaming and he wanting his mama, but is no space in there and is no mama, either. I want to hit him in the face! You see, is no because I am a bad guy, but this man, he could get us caught, you know? ..."
By C.J. Salgado
"... He wasn’t much of a talker. But his tools were. Luckily, I was a good listener. Sometimes, it was the piercing ping-ping of his ball-peen hammer squarely hitting a brake drum that spoke. Sometimes it was the calming whirr of an engine cylinder bore being honed that put me to sleep, as I lay in my bed while my father worked into the night. ..."
By Rita J. Ray
"... It was a portable, black machine with ‘Singer’ in gold lettering across its sides, and though it sat inside a suitcase-like carrier, it was rarely moved from the dining table.
Except for the new clothes my father purchased at the beginning of every school year, our clothes came from thrift stores or the homes where my grandmother worked. So when she called me in to try on the dress she made for my school assembly, I stood stiffly, barely looking down at it. ..."
By Olivia Segura
"...The braceros understood very little. They talked among themselves trying to make sense of the situation. Some talked about deserting and going back to Mexico. Miguel learned one of the men from his home state had died. He heard of others near death. ..."
By Julio Navarro
"... Her nausea had faded by then, but the sense of something disturbing lurking in the apartment had not.
She believed it was all in her head, and had forgotten her visit to the palm reader. ..."
By Brian Rivera
"... We rented a room the color of mint ice cream in Ciudad Juárez. The room had a black rooftop and was equipped with a bathroom. We used the living room as a bedroom and our kitchen was a sink inside a narrow hallway. The living room took up most of our living space. ..."