Online Texts for Craig White's Literature Courses

Pat Mora


Pat Mora, b. 1942, El Paso TX

Discussion questions: 1. What signs or symbols of assimilation appear in the poem? How do the generations differ in their stages of assimilation?

2. What images or symbols of the dominant culture appear?

3. What is the tone of the poem?


wrap their babies in the American flag,
feed them mashed hot dogs and apple pie,
name them Bill and Daisy,
buy them blonde dolls that blink blue
eyes or a football and tiny cleats                     5
before the baby can even walk,
speak to them in thick English,
                   hallo, babee, hallo,
whisper in Spanish or Polish
when the babies sleep, whisper                     10
in a dark parent bed, that dark
parent fear, “Will they like
our boy, our girl, our fine American
boy, our fine American girl?”                           14