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Do you know how it feels to constantly be picked on for your race? Martin Espada’s free verse poem, “The Sign in My Father’s Hands,” directly portrays what it is like to be a child, more specifically a latino child, who is forced at a young age to learn what it is like to constantly  be treated unfairly and a victim of racism. This poem is written in a narrative writing style, so the stanzas tell a story. Martin Espada uses his real life experiences of being brought up in an immigrant home and being part of the working class to convey the theme of how latinos are often victims of racism and constantly treated unfairly. The poem uses symbolism to show how it is possible to get through racism. The narrator sees his father as a figure of Christ in the last stanza, when would make his father a symbol of Christ. The concept of his father being able to return “from the netherworld / easily as riding the elevator to apartment 14-F,” directly paints the picture of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. This shows how the little boy looks at his father in complete awe and thinks that he can do not wrong. Christ is God-like too many people and the boy puts his father on the same level as Christ., The Brewery cops could only “watch in drunken disappointment,” could be viewed as all of the Christians who watched as Jesus was freed of the struggle which is known as life on Earth. The last line of the poem, “I searched my father’s hands / for a sign of the miracle” indicates that he looked for the wounds that Jesus was said to have had on his hands from being nailed to the cross. This connects to the theme of racism because the hole in the father’s hands would have been the only thing ttt directly connected him to Christ. Which would have explained why the father was able to tolerate the unjust  cruelty that he faced everyday due to being a victim of racism because it is said that Jesus was able to get through any qad every hardship thrown his way.

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