Federico’s Ghost

Federico’s Ghost is a tragic, yet informative poem, this poem is about the oppression of underpaid workers, and the cruelty they have to suffer. The poem talks about a family of Spanish fruitpickers who are still finishing their day’s work of picking tomatoes, when a cropduster flew overhead and sprayed it’s poisonous pesticide. Federico, the young boy of the family, only stood there as himself and his family were sprayed, and knowing that the pilot of the plane would not understand Spanish, he “jerked his arm and thrust an obscene finger” towards the pilot. Then the pilot, having seen what the child had done, turned the plane around and sprayed them once more, and Federico’s skin was “all wet and blistered” , but he was still pumping the finger at the pilot. After his death rumors became to come up of vandal children coming into the picking fields at night and picking and then smashing the tomatoes. The tomato farm owner(s) then began to threaten the workers to stop or else they would call immigration, then offering to give every Sunday off of work if the smashing of tomatoes would stop. Still tomatoes had been picked and squashed, and the old women had said that it was Federico working after dark to col the burns on his arms, and still flinging tomatoes at the cropduster that is like a mosquito in his ear, and kept his soul awake.

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