Chicano Poet

Monday, April 02, 2007

Artemio Sanchez El Quinceanero

Back in 1963 when Artemio was fifteen
he spent a year and a half
in the San Antonio tubercular hospital.

The hospital was divided into wings,
you know, like schools.
All males in one wing,

all females in another.
One day Artemio noticed
a new arrival in the women’s section,

a girl named La Margaret
from San Marcos,
home of Poeta Villanueva.

Artemio courted La Margaret,
unsuccessfully, until two months later
when her sister Dominga arrived.

A lot of Mexicans got TB back then.
Anyway, Artemio and Minga became an item,
and exchanged bacilli with their besos.


At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hijole - you are an authentic Tejano. If you can write about Texas history from a Tejano perspectives eres buena honda y no andas roban experiencia como muchos escritores hitones (is this how hitones is spelled?).

Tejanos our age can remember the TB hospitals of the 50's. A lot of raza was sent there. Three of my relatives did time in these hospitals.

Did you ever think anyone would ever wanna be a Tejano. There are a lot of characters out there who wannabe Tejanos. I say anyone can be a Texan pero pocos pueden ser Tejano.

Buen poema con mucha historia Tejana.
Esmeralda Bernal

At 10:48 PM, Blogger RC said...

Gracias,Esmeralda.Actually,there were a lot of Chicanos,some blacks and whites,too.They used a lot of experimental surgery and drugs there.It was very much like a prison.If you "escaped" you would be hunted down by the Health Dept.The scary part is that there now appears to be a TB resistant to the current drugs and it looks like those kind of times will return.There was news this week that they have jailed a guy who has this new TB and refused to wear a mask in public.


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