Chicano Poet

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Guest Poet Rebecca Flores

Flesh And Blood


Dear Mother,
the day before the baby was born,

I dreamed I was as pure as Eve,
lying in a bower of white roses,
under the reaching sun of the Garden

when the baby spurted out cleanly
between my legs
without a cry.

I thought you’d understand
if I told you that when I awoke,
I’d never been so afraid.


I spend hours at work
processing words into columns of print
used to build pages of news

while you piece hollow lengths of pipe
into scaffolds for boilermakers climbing
storage tanks at the refinery.

And as tomorrow’s pages are laid out,
and the night shift dismantles your work,
we come home

with only our blood to warm us.


Even though I was a girl
father expected me to be brave

as he held down
a soft cabrito and slit its throat.

Its eyes rolled in pools of white;
its cries lagged in the quickness of blood.

“It’s just blood,” my father would say.
“It didn’t keep him alive,

and though it’ll feed us,
it won’t keep us alive either.”


A bull can be chuted
into a bullfighting arena
and waste no time
figuring what it’s all about.

Let the cocky matador walk off,
spicing his steps with art,
he’ll stake his territory and stay,
pawing the sand.

Let the crowd see visions of truth
in this blazing heat,
he’ll hold the world
between his horns till then.

Let the blood foam on his back;
it’s only blood.
If it brings him to his knees,
he’ll spit at the thought
of shade and a quiet pasture.

copyright@2005 by rebecca flores


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