Friday, March 28, 2008

Poem Based on an Article

Latino Community Unravels

Why is this store so empty?

The cash girl’s eyes are caves

inwards turned, downwards turned,

downwards, downwards to laces,

loosely bound blind eyelet sets,
the red print, white print, blue print,

industrial woven canvas, rubber coated wainscot

in case she has to run.

Work at home, work at the store, bathe

Abuela tonight, scan for cans to pile here,

keep an ear for the door bell

(as if listening will bring people in).

These are the braids of her living now, between

metal aisles and shelves, no customer now, no jangle now,

might as well sweep again. Pick up the broom, the corn-husk broom

and sweep like there’s business tomorrow. Scratch the bristles
into the cracks, dry-scour the floor that's been marred,
in this store, old store, ethnic store, clean away the Spanish,

bleach the tiles twice today, power wash her skin,

beg her body to look like the powerful--

at least until payday again.

Draft 1

March 28, 2008

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt

Post a Comment