Gary Soto Poems

Hit Title Date Added
1.
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
...

2.
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,
...

3.
Mission Tire Factory, 1969

All through lunch Peter pinched at his crotch,
And Jesús talked about his tattoos,
And I let the flies crawl my arm, undisturbed,
Thinking it was wrong, a buck sixty five,
...

4.
How Things Work

Today it's going to cost us twenty dollars
To live. Five for a softball. Four for a book,
A handful of ones for coffee and two sweet rolls,
Bus fare, rosin for your mother's violin.
...

5.
The Drought

The clouds shouldered a path up the mountains
East of Ocampo, and then descended,
Scraping their bellies gray on the cracked shingles of slate.
...

6.
Late Confession

Monsignor, I believed Jesus followed me
With his eyes, and when I slept,
An angel peeled an orange
And waited for me to wake up.
...

7.
The Tale of Sunlight

Listen, nephew.
When I opened the cantina
At noon
A triangle of sunlight
...

8.
After Tonight

Because there are avenues
Of traffic lights, a phone book
Of brothers and lawyers,
Why should you think your purse
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9.
Graciela

Wedding night
Graciela bled lightly—
But enough to stain his thighs—
And left an alphabet
Of teeth marks on his arm.
...

10.
The Jungle Café

We could wipe away a fly,
Drink, and order that yellow
Thing behind the glass, peach
Or sweet bread. Sunlight
...