Andrew Barba


Andrew Barba is currently studying Political Science. Most of his childhood was spent in sunny California until he moved to Texas at the age of nine. His experiences living in two different states have impacted the way he writes and what he writes about. He enjoys nature hiking, reading, and socializing with different people to help with his creativity.



Clear Californian sky and a field

Full of ripe grapes. I pick as fast

As I can and put some in my

Bucket. Thorns cutting

My fingers as I go.


I am not the only one hunched

Over in the same nauseating

Rhythm. A six year

Old girl wearing a yellowed white

V-neck, jeans, and shoes with holes.

She is plucking furiously. Her youthful

Skin barely Torched by the ruthless sun.

She graciously still moves. The hammer

Of time has not crushed her yet.


There is also an old man

In front of me. Straw hat and

A faded plaid shirt and jeans.

 His skin scorched by the sun and

Folding over, a raisin.

His eyes transfixed at the

Fruit he is picking. He

Has done this for many

A decades over.


There’s nine-year old

Me. Torn oversized jeans,

A super bowl t-shirt for

A team that didn’t win,

And shoes that are taped

Together at the sole.


We work by a highway and

Every Saturday morning I

See cars full of happy families

Headed to the beach to eat the grapes

I picked. I hope to one day

Sit on that sandy Pacific beach

Eating grapes and away from

The Inferno that is this grape vineyard.


I haven’t talked to many of them

Except for the Overseer. They seem

Nice. Except for the one on TV

Who said I was a rapist or the

Ones on TV who say I am

“Milking” the system. I don’t

Know what any of those things

Mean, so I had to ask Papá. He

Told me what “milking” meant

But said I was not a rapist.


How can I milk the system

when I’m in the field picking

grapes everyday? The sun milks

 My youth from me so the families

Going to the beach can pay $.89

A pound for grapes that I picked for $1.25 per 5

Gallon bucket. My parents brought me here

Because they needed work. I’m trying to

Help them.


Back home I went to

School and had friends and a house.

I go to different schools every few months

And can’t make friends. I live in a shack

With no furniture and I sleep on the

Floor remembering home and the

Great things there. My Papá and

Mamá say things could be better here.

It’s not yet and this is not where I

Want to be.

© The Acentos Review 2017