Chicano Poet

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Cotton Pickers

(a memory of the Fifties)

The wondrous taste of ice cold water
from the wooden barrel

in the back of the canvas-covered truck
which took the campesinos

to the cotton fields,
two blocks of ice floating,

and only us kids relaxing there
while the adults dragged

sacks of cotton up and down the rows,
filled them to the opening of the sack,

came in to weigh them,
grabbed a tin of water,

picked another and another row
until the day was devoid.


At 1:40 AM, Blogger Jim Murdoch said...

Devoid? An interesting choice. One has to wonder why not opt for the more obvious 'done'? Makes one think...but I guess that's your whole point.

At 9:59 AM, Blogger RC said...

Thanks,Jim.I used "devoid" to leave the poem hanging,suspended there in my childhood.

At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From my experience, as a 14 year old cotton picker, I like how the poem ends with the word devoid. This is my view of the word. In reality, picking cotton is a back breaking job and at the end of the day there is a " devoid space" with the body completely worn out.

By the way I use to pick cotton on a farm south of Elsa, Tx llamada " La Sacatera" This is the time period when I became socially aware. There was nothing to do on the farm where we lived and I use to take long walks and pray to God about the world, poverty and suffering.

Many of us who partook in the civil rights movement did so by the grace of God, It was not our fault that the Soviet Union and the US government made us part of their battle ground and we ended up with weirdness like the middle class Whites and their free love movement or the LSD drugs delivered to the youth of that time period, courtesy of the CIA, If I am correct, now it has been proven that Leary was actually CIA and so was Captain Tripps, who use to pass out free acid at Golden Gate Park. I never got into the drug thing, I found it suspicious. To this day I do not believe in drinking, drugs or that because I write poetry I have license to act out locuras.

Esmeralda Bernal

At 12:20 PM, Blogger RC said...

Thanks,Esmeralda for a very enlightening comment.My parents were migrant workers,followed the work around the state,cotton,pecans,etc.


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