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Monday, January 20, 2003

A Red Palm

Rating: 3.6
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 fish for wife
And three sons. Another row, another fish,
Until you have enough and move on to milk,
Bread, meat. Ten hours and the cupboards creak.
You can rest in the back yard under a tree.
Your hands twitch on your lap,
Not unlike the fish on a pier or the bottom
Of a boat. You drink iced tea. The minutes jerk
Like flies.

It's dusk, now night,
And the lights in your home are on.
That costs money, yellow light
In the kitchen. That's thirty steps,
You say to your hands,
Now shaped into binoculars.
You could raise them to your eyes:
You were a fool in school, now look at you.
You're a giant among cotton plants.
Now you see your oldest boy, also running.
Papa, he says, it's time to come in.
You pull him into your lap
And ask, What's forty times nine?
He knows as well as you, and you smile.
The wind makes peace with the trees,
The stars strike themselves in the dark.
You get up and walk with the sigh of cotton plants.
You go to sleep with a red sun on your palm,
The sore light you see when you first stir in bed.
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COMMENTS
ayesha 17 December 2020
in line 3 what makes the sound and what does it suggest?
0 0 Reply
guacamole n pito 05 October 2020
yo mama yo mama yo mama yo mama yo mama yo mama yo mama yo mama yo mama yo mama yo mama yo mama yo mama yo mama yo mama
3 2 Reply
Chinedu Dike 24 April 2020
Well expressed thoughts and feelings. An insightful work of art. Thanks for sharing, Gary.
2 0 Reply
Danny Green 08 November 2019
it was a great poem and very inspiring for young kids.
1 0 Reply
urmom.com 09 May 2019
meow meow im a cow meow meow im a cow meow meow im a cowmeow meow im a cowmeow meow im a cowmeow meow im a cowmeow meow im a cowmeow meow im a cowmeow meow im a cowmeow meow im a cowmeow meow im a cow
3 0 Reply
Steph Curry 09 May 2019
thats a good poem for sure
3 0 Reply
Tatiana 09 May 2019
your funny
0 0 Reply
penischeeto.com 15 April 2020
*ahem* *you’re
0 0 Reply
wigaa 05 April 2019
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
5 2 Reply
maritssa 02 October 2018
what i liked about the poem is that the character does the same thing like me. for example, when i feel bored i go under a tree and see the sun set down.
8 5 Reply
Abraham Lincoln 30 April 2018
buncha in this place mexicans
13 6 Reply
Gary Soto 21 March 2019
F U C white people
0 0 Reply
Me Me Big Boy 24 April 2018
This poem... NO words
9 8 Reply

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