Poem -

Fields of Lodi

Maria Jimenez

Fields of Lodi

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. 
https://ufw.org/Chronology-on-heat-death-of-Maria-Isabel-Vasquez-Jimenez/
 

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Comments

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Cherie Leigh

What a very sad story....and speaks poorly of humanity and the treatment of our fellow man.  What a preventable death of mother and child if only treated with compassion and common decency of needs and shelter....Breaks my heart to think of a mother and unborn baby dying in heat exhaustion....Poor Florentino and her brother left with the loss....Thank you for sharing such a tragedy...xo ;)    

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author
ROWLAND PAUL HILL

Thank you, Cherie. Your sentiments are entirely mine too. And yet such mistreatment still goes on. It's not only that such things go on but also the fabric of lies constructed around the events by those responsible for the tragedies.

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author
ROWLAND PAUL HILL

Thank you, Marion. It's taken 11 long years for Maria's family to achieve justice and closure, if that is enough, for the loss of their daughter.

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