Manzano Mountain Review is an online New Mexico literary journal affiliated with UNM-Valencia.

Little Wolf #4    October 2017 

"Consider" by Erin Nagy

"Light and Dark"  by Larissa Hidalgo

Consider the leaves, small veins like spider webs cover heart shaped spaces, spiked spaces, scalloped, palmate, and whorled spaces. The veins of the leaves very similar to our own, transporting green goo rather than blue blood and transforming the sun's vast and mighty energy into something new. Something breathable and pure; a process unseen by the eye but necessary for life. The leaves provide a deep breath in... and a deep breath out. They are the hands of the trees making hushed clapping sounds in the breeze. Like an audience applauding the sun for touching its glowing rays to their delicate fingertips. The hands greedily take in, but abundantly and bountifully give back.
The leaves like all things, tend to show what troubles they’ve beheld. Some green and smooth, almost silky new. Some eaten by sluggish caterpillars or ravaged by the fierce mandibles of a grasshopper. Others fall on the ground, made especially apparent by the eminent crunch of a foot in the fall. All have a story to tell, like the oak tree full of rings, easily traceable by a fingertip lightly counting the rings; one, two, three... The rings resemble wrinkles in an old woman's face. Deep set lines of wisdom covering her hands and her face. The hands telling stories of love and care, able to hold a newborn baby, breathing brand new baby fresh air. The baby's hands are of the bright green silky sort. The fingerprints and lines only recently formed by clenched fists in the womb.  The grandmother's hands are much more like the crunchy kind. They are worn, more relating to an auburn color rather than the bright green of a lime.

Consider the hands for a moment and all that they do. Two thumbs perfectly placed on the innermost sides of the palms, giving you the ability to hold up a cup to drink or place food on the table to eat. Four fingers placed exactly on the top; each independent of the other, making it possible for spooky spider imitations in the dark. The hands that can knit a scarf or hold a paintbrush delicately to a canvas. Hands that form fists of defiance and symbols of peace. The hands are like leaves with veins and wear and creativity. Both extensions of oneself and providers of sustenance. The hands are of utmost importance to the body. They show affection with a touch as well as the aging of a life.
What do you give into?
The small voices in the dark telling you to cheat, to take another hit,
To hide from the truth, to lie to the people you love,
The voices that you know are wrong
But give you such a high,
The lies drip from your mouth, like a broken faucet, drip drip.
The lies taste so sweet at first like honey but then get a bitter taste like a bee sting
The voices get louder, becoming the only voice you can hear
No one else will find out that you’ve created a jungle of lies
Lying has become a part of you
It flows through you pumping your dark heart
Until someone catches the end of a lie
The jungle starts to wrap itself around your body
Vines pinning you down suffocating you.
Until the darkness has consumed you and there is nothing else but the numb cold dark.
Light, a tiny glimmer of light is trying to shine through
The fear of it keeps you from moving forward,
It’s so bright, blinding you, but drawing you closer
Slowly, moving towards the light
Slowly it gets stronger.
The warmth starts to reach you, giving you life
The light is stronger, it gives a undying power of strength
The taste is sweeter than honey, and spreads from your tongue
The sweetness becomes you
The battle continues
Which sensation do you give into?

"UNM Dream Team"  by Nallely Carmona

The University of New Mexico Valencia Campus Dream Team is a campus resource where students are trained to assist and advocate for undocumented high school students. Undocumented students have discriminatory obstacles that have prevented them from succeeding. For example, a UNM-Valencia student was turned away from receiving information about the University of New Mexico Valencia campus by his high school counselor because he was undocumented. The counselor told him that only documented students could attend a university. He later found out that our previous president Barrack Obama had signed an executive action to give legal permission to undocumented children and young adults. He applied and was given a social security number to work and attend school. Since this student is not a U.S citizen, he was not able to apply for federal financial aid. The tuition had to be paid out of his pocket, scholarships, or by state aid. Although this student has overcome many obstacles to get to school, he still faces barriers such as discrimination because he speaks Spanish and he is “illegal” in this country. Assistance is needed.

The Dream Team assists with providing information to students about financial aid, immigration law or policies, and how to be successful in school. This Dream Team resource will bring hope to discouraged students. The introduction of the Dream Team will provide encouragement, empowerment, and safe space to express each person’s immigration status. The Dream Team will be introduced as a motivational and encouraging resource for undocumented high school students. The Dream Team will increase awareness about how some undocumented students survive. Will provide training on political advocacy on immigration reform. The Dream team will open new possibilities to a better career and academic future to undocumented high school students in Valencia County.

Encouragement is a need in Valencia County high schools, especially among the undocumented. There is a high percentage of undocumented high school students who want to pursue a career but are turned away because of their legal status. This program, the Dream Team, can help encourage students to pursue a degree or a career path. This program will bring “A supportive environment that will advocate for student success in higher education regardless of their background or immigration status" (New York Dream Team).

Power comes through education. Therefore, this team will help students develop “conferences, workshops, or groups directed towards changing vulnerability to power” (United We Dream). The team will bring the importance of education by teaching others about the current issue of immigration. The main point of the Dream Team is to inform the public with correct and accurate information that will bring awareness and support to these students. The mindset of the Dream Team is that being an “Advocate is an ongoing journey and responsibility” (United We Dream). Applying the principles of the Dream Team means we will always continue to pursue education and will inform others about the hard-current immigration laws and policies.

The Dream Team will provide training on political advocacy, on immigration reform and law information. The Dream Team is a mentorship based team that helps students fill out paper FAFSA, Free Application for Federal Aid. Since undocumented students do not have social security numbers they are unable to apply online but they can apply for New Mexico aid with a paper application. In addition, the team provides students with legal term information. This gives students the chance to understand laws, terminology, and policies. The Dream Team is able to provide legal representation to those who might have issues with deportation. The Dream Team is able to contact immigration attorneys to give advice to students on how to manage their status and how to apply for residency or citizenship. This means that the team’s attorneys give legal opinions to students about any new law that might affect them. High school seniors are able to get legal assistance if they have questions or concerns.

If the Dream Team of the University of New Mexico Valencia Campus is introduced to high schools, students will feel encouraged because for a very long time the Mexican undocumented community has thought that if they are undocumented, why even bother to attend school. The undocumented community lives in discouragement and negativity. Many children and young adults are discouraged by their parents because they know they don’t have the funds to put their children through school and they are afraid of being deported any time (Dream Team Los Angeles CA). Families that are undocumented fear ICE (U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement) because they can potentially be captured and leave their children or other family members that depend on them behind, and for this reason sometimes parents don’t send their students to school for weeks because other members of the undocumented community will inform them that there will be raids to deport people back to their country of origin. The sad part of this is that they live in fear and it grows a fixed mindset into those young adults and children that there is always a possibility of deportation every time they step out their front door. They could never enjoy themselves fully because of the fear of deportation.

Another thing undocumented families do is that they will tell their acquaintances and friends that they do have a social security number or have a green card which means they are a resident of the U.S. They will say that to not expose themselves in front of others because they don’t trust anyone because they believe they might call ICE on them and be separated away from their family (Dream Team NY). At the end of the day the only thing immigrants want is a better future for their families. The Dream Team’s purpose is to guide and push families to support each to attend school and to not exclude themselves because of fear.

In closing bringing the University of New Mexico Valencia Campus Dream Team to Valencia County high schools can bring new opportunities to undocumented students. The team will help with bringing the community together to bind strength and power to help undocumented students succeed in college or whatever their goal might be. The purpose of the team is to bring support for the undocumented students’ success. *


“The Things You Don't Know” by Valerie A. Thomas 

You see that girl
You say her skirt is too tight
But what you can't see
Inside her soul doesn't fit right
She's been broken
Bruised where it can't show
And you'd judge her worth
By the things you don't know
You see that boy
You say he's a queer
But he's tattooed all over
With the tears you can't hear
He's been abandoned
He has nowhere to go
But you judge his worth
By the things you don't know
See with your ego
View with your pride
Judge with your prejudice
Ignore what's inside
You see a misfit
I see the pain
You think they're worthless
Well you must feel the same
Things aren't always
The way they appear
Look with your heart
Don't look with your fear

You see that black boy
But he's really a man
Cause since he was 10
He's worked as hard as he can

A Requisite Repose" by Caleb Daniel Ramsell

In the dream, I was running down the corridor,
Well, I don’t really remember what for.
I’m running till the end of time,
I’m running toward the edge of my mind.

Approaching the man with the large mushroom blower,
I’m feeling as if I could not go much slower.
Walking and waiting,
Thinking of staying.
Becoming the one that does not exist,
I’m trying to be what you can’t assist.
Finding my way,
But going away,
Leaning from the edge,
Falling from the ledge.
Leaving you,
To see this through,     
I’m seeing the shots,
From the guns going by,
Thinking my friends,
Will die.
I need to leave,
I need to breathe,
Guess, I’ll try.