Jimmy Santiago Baca sits behind the wheel of a car and passes by a hitchhiker who he sympathizes with in the romantic self-titled poem, "Hitchhiker-. Baca takes an emotional detour into the heart and soul of a homeless man he sees longing to find his way back to Mexico. Baca uses poignant diction and synchronized organization to drive through a universe of empathy for the man. .
The organization of the poem reflects human emotion in the way that it is structured like a sympathetic roller coaster ride. The poem begins with Baca driving home past a hitchhiker. A passive introduction, stating an everyday reality in life. Driving home past a hitchhiker is something that is normal and an everyday sight in today's society, and so Baca displays no emotional connection with the initial sight. He does, though, in lines 4 and 5 when he begins to develop pity for the hitchhiker, personifying simple aspects of his appearance. An initial rise of emotion slopes as the hitchhiker attempts his will for a ride home in lines 6 and 7. The slope increases as Baca digs deeper into the shoes of the mysterious hitchhiker as he drives by in lines 11 through 14. Baca notices the spraying lights that outline the figure of the hitchhiker in line 15, informing the reader of the increase in concern for the forsaken individual. Line 16 concludes with a dash that is picked up in the indentations of lines 17, 19, and 21; the rise and fall of the ride. This is the drop from the emotional high point, where Baca sympathizes with the hitchhiker with a passion that envelopes not only Baca, the author himself, but the reader as well. The separation in structure of lines 17, 19, and 21 serve as the subtle, but climatic change in that Baca feels for the hitchhiker. He begins to drown himself in the history of the hitchhiker, analyzing every detail that could serve, or support his compassion. Line 23 concludes the high point of the ride, but not without a final address to accent the maudlin nature of the poem.