1948 – The Plane Crash of Forgotten Names

Unknown

high in the Diablo mountains on a January day that brought black misery and death

DC aircraft sailed into eternity with 32 souls on the sad journey back to Mexican poverty

“Deportees” sand Woody Guthrie in a lament that told their story to comfortable land owners

some were legal whose time cards had expired while others came with out papers earning them the name “illegals”

all picked fruit and bent their backs in the burning California sun, sweating to earn the nickels and dimes

just so the nice grocery stores could have fresh lettuce and firm tomatoes for the mothers pushing the shiny metal carts

“Round ’em up!” came the cry as the Feds ┬árented a Burbank airplane and that is what they did

“Send ’em back!” nodded the white men in white shirts as they reasoned with their logical white brains

on a Naval ship a young Caesar Chavez received the fire he needed inside his bones the cry out

“They should be treated as human beings, not just agricultural implements!”

Over due for a safety inspection just northwest of Coalinga the road workers looked up in the sky

white smoke gushed from the big falling bird and exploded against the rocks

they died- all of them

but

the four white people had names

good names

the others were not so lucky

their mass graves still say

“Deportees”

that’s all