In response to the 100 Word Challenge for Grown-ups:
Today, I wonder who’s not eating while I binge on berries, nectarines, and peaches. Summer lovelies. Women raped in fields nicknamed field de calzon by foremen. Never tell. Mothers, fathers, children all evicted while picking fruits I savor with delight. Working twelve-hour days for paltry pay, they’re often shorted. Exhausted, too scared to argue, wanting respite from the sun, they trudge home to find their clothes, a doll, a book thrown out upon the street, a red-tagged door: “No Trespassing. Violators will be prosecuted.” Exposed wiring. Holes in walls. Rodent infestation. Nowhere else to go. Juice courses down my chin.
6 thoughts on “Dark Fruit”
This is excellent, Jilanne. You have succinctly juxtaposed the delicious fruit with the seedy/unjust goings on behind the scenes. Very nicely done.
Thanks, Kate! It’s a topic dear to my heart.
The dark recesses of our whole culture…
Moving and beautifully written.
Thank you. Yes, it’s an issue that few want to acknowledge, let alone discuss. Thanks for reading!
I will never think of a strawberry in the same way again.
Yes, it’s the underbelly of produce farming in the U.S. and other countries, an underbelly that many corporate farmers (grapes, strawberries, etc.) would like to keep from view. If you can buy organic produce, then at least you know the workers have not been doused in pesticides along with the fruit. But that doesn’t alleviate the other issues. California Rural Legal Assistance does an amazing job of representing farm workers in California. I’ve written many stories about their work, some of them quite horrifying. Thanks for your comment!