They crossed the border to Sacramento
To work in the vineyards of Lodi nearby;
Maria, her brother, her love Florentino
Left Nopalera for the place she would die.
Throughout the summer, June till September,
To work in the vineyards from morning first light;
Maria, her brother, her love Florentino,
Had no rest, no water, till last thing each night.
Temperatures rising high over forty
The sun like a furnace burned in a blue sky.
Maria Jimenez, tired and thirsty,
Fell down exhausted in the fields of Lodi.
Though Florentino tried to revive her
She fell in a coma and didn’t survive.
After only five days and pregnant with child
Maria Jimenez, in a hospital, died.
Marching from Lodi to Sacramento
Field workers seek answers for why she had died.
For the two victims they carried two caskets -
One for Maria and one for her child.
Maria’s mother, in Nopalera,
Vented her anger, her family’s ire.
“She travelled by foot, came back in a coffin
After working three days in the fields of Lodi”.
@rowland paul hill
First draft 10 June 2008
This draft 6 November 2019
May 14, 2008 Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez, 17, collapses after laboring more than nine hours without accessible shade or water. She dies two days later.