Dalton, America’s Carpet Capital,
nearly unravelled
when whites refused the low paid factory work.

So Latinos make our rugs
and once a year–or twice with with luck–
drive 2000 miles to Mexico,
500 more to Guatemala.
Earning enough, a few bring families,
settle down in Dalton.
Bumper stickers, mid-60s to 70s,
America, Love it or Leave It.

Ramhurst, Georgia, twenty miles from the factories,
First quarter, 21st century:
Welcome to America
We speak English
Learn it or leave.

What they mean:
Don’t come.
Even if you love America,
we have nothing for you.

When I lose things
Someone always asks,
Do you know where you lost it?
If I could answer,
It wouldn’t be lost.

My America,
What did you lose?
Do you know where you lost it?
You had a lamp.
You had a golden door.