Home(y)Lands

reading and writing the poetry and stories of our people and places

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Garden Road

i

today i live on garden road

been in this house a lil more than a year

last spring i tried this thing

called gardening

good thing we’re in a desert

high desert but still desert

i watered

shoveled

weeded

seeded

planted

killed

dirt

clay dirt but dirt

ii

when i was a kid and we wanted to eat a piece of candy

that had just fallen on the ground

we said

god made dirt

and dirt don’t hurt

iii

san francisco’s mission district

yields its own bounty of harvest

countless used condoms

on sidewalks

in middle of streets

small piles of broken glass

every few parking spaces

reveal another driver or passenger

forgot to remove

what another community member liberated

jackets, CDs, cell phones, stereos

a careless step and you might slip on

a mouse or rat or pigeon

smashed into asphalt

clear plastic bags

small enough to hold a button or two

probably held one helluva high

discarded syringes pop up

almost as often as they pop skin

the dirt fills every crevice of carved concrete

M-I-S-S-I-O-N

Count off

1, 2

count off 3, 4

D-O-L-O-R-E-S

Count off

1, 2

count off

ain’t gonna hurt no more

dolores park’s playground

sandbox buckets and shovels

share space with cigarette butts

when you drop to all fours

and roll down the hills

careful for the dog shit

moussing your hair

fat pigeons waddle on garbage can rims

can’t remember ever seeing a squirrel

no water feature here

but mission playground’s barely heated outdoor pool

shivers a few blocks away

at the corner of 18th and church

sometimes

there’s a cop or two on horseback

iv

in the south valley at dusk

an anglo guy leads his daughter

they clip clop their horses down la vega

saturday mornings

mexicanos trot theirs—saddleless—

to the levee

weekday afternoons

a lone rider races his curved shadow down hardy

v

when gaby and chen visit

geen and i take them to see our neighbors’ horses

white horse down la vega

chocolate and double chocolate on anne

geen pulls the dry grass

beneath our feet

carries the slim pickins straw

to white horse’s mouth

white horse sniffs her open hand

licks chews swallows

sniffs for more

the camera in my mission hands

points at gaby squealing

chen circling his wrists

as if shaking off excess water

black dog crosses la vega

barks and growls at us

i don’t know anything about horses

but i know dogs chase

me, my sister, and girl cousins were running down 16th

across from mission dolores

heard a dog

we screamed as little girls do

we ran faster

he ran fast enough to catch the slowest one

not me

that dog didn’t bite these barrel legs

Stay still

Don’t look

Be calm

black dog leaves

vi

this season even as i return to

clipping

pruning

whacking

raking

sweeping

watering

dreaming of using the well

on my land

i see empty lots and abandoned adobes

instinct asks

when will someone build with steel and concrete

when will someone

put

something

there

vii

the purple flower

on the weed

in this desert

of clay dirt

reminds me

i am on borrowed land

i stop

cut around the weed

topple skyscrapers

1 comment:

  1. nice love... i like how this turned out!

    ReplyDelete

Please leave your own poems, stories, or comments.