Monday, June 16, 2014

I have poems at the Denver Crossroads

in front of one of the Santa Fe Arts District murals
"History of the Westside Community," by Marc Anthony Martinez, 2002


Some time ago, Denver poet, Carson Reed asked me to give him some poems for his wonderful project, The Denver Crossroads. Below follows one of those poems. Following the poem is a link to more of them, and in the sometime future, there will be more poems from me for his site.

He takes submissions! Links for more info follow below!


a strawberry field in Oregon, summer of ’96

My beau, smiling in the sun, 
cracking jokes in Spanish
never looked so bright, crouched in the fields
with his friends.

The ladies, too, wives,
buckets full already, gossip and laugh,
and I’m trying to pick faster.

My beginner’s Spanish,
my 1/10th full bucket of berries,
my wobbling ankles and lips already cracking;
no hat for sun, and clothes
too warm for this — I’m only 40 minutes in,
feeling faint and weak.

I’d like to taste
a berry, juicy, sun-warmed,
straight from the bush,
but I need water, shade,
and a bushel or two.
No time to pick for me.

I am a tourist here
and when the farmer comes
looking after the workers,
poking fun as they blink,
throwing a bonus of Taco Bell
to supplement a pittance, I turn,
lips quivering, tongue
sticking in my mouth, telling him
I speak perfect English.

*originally published at the Denver Crossroads

To learn more about the Crossroads poem, developed by Carson Reed, go here: