Gary Soto

(1952 / Fresno, California)

Gary Soto Poems

1. The Drought 2/24/2016
2. After Tonight 5/24/2016
3. Chiapas 5/24/2016
4. The Elements of San Joaquin 5/24/2016
5. The Jungle Café 5/24/2016
6. Late Confession 5/24/2016
7. Making Money: Drought Year in Minkler, California 5/24/2016
8. The Map 5/24/2016
9. The Tale of Sunlight 5/24/2016
10. Teaching English from an Old Composition Book 5/24/2016
11. Graciela 5/24/2016
12. Self-Inquiry before the Job Interview 5/24/2016
13. How Things Work 8/17/2015
14. Mission Tire Factory, 1969 1/20/2003
15. Saturday At The Canal 1/13/2003
16. A Red Palm 1/20/2003
Best Poem of Gary Soto

A Red Palm

You're in this dream of cotton plants.
You raise a hoe, swing, and the first weeds
Fall with a sigh. You take another step,
Chop, and the sigh comes again,
Until you yourself are breathing that way
With each step, a sigh that will follow you into town.

That's hours later. The sun is a red blister
Coming up in your palm. Your back is strong,
Young, not yet the broken chair
In an abandoned school of dry spiders.
Dust settles on your forehead, dirt
Smiles under each fingernail.
You chop, step, and by the end of the first row,
You can buy one splendid ...

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Saturday At The Canal

I was hoping to be happy by seventeen.
School was a sharp check mark in the roll book,
An obnoxious tuba playing at noon because our team
Was going to win at night. The teachers were
Too close to dying to understand. The hallways
Stank of poor grades and unwashed hair. Thus,
A friend and I sat watching the water on Saturday,
Neither of us talking much, just warming ourselves
By hurling large rocks at the dusty ground

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