The Last Day Saloon

by Sara Mayeux

Thanks to TNC for inviting me to do this, and also to all of you. Hitting "refresh" to see each new flurry of insightful comments could be a full-time job, and I don't, after this week, understand how professional bloggers get anything else done. I especially want to thank everyone who took the time to read and comment on my immigration threads -- I learned a lot from those discussions, and look forward to following up on the ideas, perspectives, and points of disagreement that you generously shared with me and with each other. It's not every blog that can bring together immigration attorneys, construction workers, social service providers, teachers, students, immigrants and children of immigrants.... all to a soundtrack combining Dusty Springfield, James Brown, the Clash, and Pete Rock. Yes, needless to say, I am looking forward to rocking Ricardo's mixes this weekend, and watching Mad Men in the new light of G.D.'s insights.

Last week TNC wrote a sentence that jumped out to me: "My Dad read War and Peace before he went off to Vietnam." I realized that the sentence reminded me, in its cadence, of a poem I first encountered as a college student, surfing an earlier version of this very website -- Frank Bidart's "Legacy," an excerpt from which I'll leave you with:

My grandparents left home for the American

desert to escape

poverty, or the family who said You are

the son who shall become a priest

After Spain became
Franco's, at last

rich enough

to return you

refused to return

The West you made

was never unstoried, never


Excrement of the sky our rage inherits

there was no gift

outright         we were never the land's