Silently in the back she sits, everyday in every class,
Waiting for the bell to ring like a spilling hourglass.
Her name remains anonymous to all except the teacher,
Even then no one knows her, and no one cares to meet her.
Silently in the back he sits, always playing on his phone,
Never talking to others, seeming so alone.
He sits and works just as hard as the rest,
But he never seems to pass a single test.
Silently in the back they sit, sometimes mumbling to each other,
No one understands them in such a language they cannot decipher.
They know nothing better, what they speak is all they can,
It was coming to this country where these struggles first began.
They came by boat, they came by plane, and some just hopped the fence,
They left their lives behind, but most see that as nonsense.
Their parents work three jobs each just to put food on the table,
Sometimes they work too, always willing and able.
Their wages go to family bills because there’s never enough to save,
Knowing in this country they will be working into the grave.
An inevitable cycle of poverty, one that is rarely broken,
A cycle much more generous however, than the life they had to abandon.
They came escaping danger in search for the American dream.
Even without a white picket fence, they never let out a scream.
This dream of working harder, and always hustling,
Doesn’t get you anywhere in the system we are creating.
All they brought was lists of stories, culture, traditions, and all that,
Unable to show them off, all their ideas in their heads they sat.
After all they did to get here, everything that they had fought,
Their dreams melting away in our giant melting pot.
Silently in the back they sit, looking so frustrated,
Because they choke on their words like they’re constipated.
In their native tongues they speak intelligently, like intellectuals,
But we never hear that in their English, just inaudible little mumbles.
Her heart burns like a wildfire but she keeps it all contained.
His mind roars as loud as lions but he wants it to be tamed.
They have the words to change the world, but they still bite their tongues.
They surround themselves in silence, all their songs they leave unsung.
Too scared to speak their minds, afraid what they will say is all wrong,
They sit silently in the back mumbling, as if they don’t belong.
We often seem to see them as just immigrants so dumb and dull,
Never practicing what we preach, that “all men are created equal.”