Jonathan Nathan Go Do Your Homework

JONATHAN NATHAN GO DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

Little Jonathan Nathan looked at his mama.
“Juan wasn’t at school today.
His family are illegal immigrants. They’re being deported.”
“Good, they have no business being here.”

“He was looking through the fence at school,
And he was crying. Why was he sad? ”
“He’s being sent back to Mexico where he belongs.
You know he and his family are here illegally.”

“Are we here legally? ”
“Why Jonathan Nathan, of course we are! ”
And, I am a Daughter of the Revolution.
This country was built on such as we.”

“Were we here before anyone else? ”
“Well, no, there were some Indians and Mexicans.
But they don’t count. We count.”
“Why do we count and they don’t? ”

“JONATHAN NATHAN GO DO YOUR HOMEWORK! ”

“I can’t. I keep seeing Juan crying at the fence, ”
“We had a right to this land by the Doctrine of Manifest Destiny.
That means from sea to sea, we have a right to this land.
God gave us that right.” “MAMA! Did you hear God say so? ”

“JONATHAN NATHAN GO DO YOUR HOMEWORK! ”

“Mama, where did we come from? ”
“Well, they took us out of jails in England, mostly,
because we had to steal food for our families,
And they sent us to America.”

“Mama, that’s almost like Juan’s Mama and Daddy!
They came here to earn money to feed their family!
And they do work no one else wants to do.
They’re like we were long ago! ”

“JONATHAN NATHAN GO DO YOUR HOMEWORK! ”

“But Mama…” “We fought a war for this land and won.”
“Didn’t it belong to the Mexican people first? ”
“Well, yes, and we offered them money for the land,
But they refused to be reasonable about it.”

“Our teacher says our Constitution is the hope of the world.
I was just wondering, since they were here first,
And we took the land away from them,
Couldn’t we make it easier for them to become citizens? ”

“JONATHAN NATHAN GO DO YOUR HOMEWORK! ”

by Mary Naylor

Comments (2)

What an extraordinary poem story. We could all learn lessons about compassion from Jonathan Nathan. Beautifully written as always. Love, Sandra
Irony rings like music from these witty words about colonization and immigration policy in American. Circumstances in Australia mirror the conflicts you describe so cleverly in this excellent poem. We used the term 'terra nullius' to describe the land we invaded two hundred hears ago. In fact the aboriginal people only were given the right to vote after a referendum was passed in 1967. These days, our government's treatment of refugees is merciless - many 'boat people' living for years in limbo in detention camps awaiting settlement of their claims. Thank you for sharing your rage. love, Allie xxxx