I Love The Night (Poetry)

By Juan Carlos Segundo

Juan Carlos Segundo is and Undocumented, Electrical engineering student at City College of San Francisco. He advocates for immigrant rights and student equity at CCSF through SAFE (Students Advocating for Equity) and SMAC (Students Making A Change).

 

Illustration by Julio Salgado/Dreamers Adrift

 

I love the night.

Not because it’s when I’m procrastinating doing crazy math calculations.
Nah, I love the night because it helped me derive a lot of inspiration.

I love the night because it was during the night when I learned the value of hard-work.

During the night I scavenged for cardboard.
While people slept, three little immigrants looked for cardboard to stack on this big truck.
This big red truck that was bright red and really really really big
… wait almost everything is bigger than me.

I love the night. Because it taught me love.
It taught me that my parents loved me.
With or without papers,
They’d do anything to support me, to support us.

It was during the night where I learned that people do value immigrants
It was during these nine hour marathon cardboard hunts that I realized no one can stop my undocumented parents.
Not having papers will not stop me, will not stop them, will not stop us, will not stop you.

It wasn’t until this man, a very humble and simple man said it to my dear momma.
He just stared at my dad, mom, and I.
He glared with admiration.

Initially, I didn’t see it that way.
I was ready to throw down and fight.
Then, he said, “Gracias. Gracias por ensenarle lo que significa el trabajo y sacrificio. Gracias”
(Thank you. Thank you for teaching him the value of hard-work and sacrifice. Thank you”)
I froze. I stopped. I freaked out.
Soon after, this man left. My mom looked at my dad.
Then they both looked at me and smiled.

I realized that for just a brief moment …
they felt joy and a sense of accomplishment.
Soon after, they continued to work.
But they worked with a smile and a silence.
The silence said it all.

Ever since that day … I fell in love.
I fell in love with the night.

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