Rookie (1/30/40 / LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY)

Pablo - Poem by POET HUBITO

Standing on decorative rock,
Street side of Home Depot,
My amigo points callous fingers
To chest layered in shirts,
Eyes hungry for work,
Torn shoes and hands
Camouflaged with concrete stains.

My power window opens,
“Concrete? ”
“Block walls? ”
I flash six fingers.
He holds up eight.
“You rapido Gonzales? ”
He smiles, “Si, yo trabajo rapido.”
The contract’s sealed.
The door locks click,
And in he climbs.
“You have number? ”
Shrugging shoulders, “No comprenda.”
“Social Security numero? ”
Hesitation and silence.
Your name… nombre?
“Si… Pablo.”
“You hablar English? ”
“ Pequeno.”
“Mas dinero, You hablar English.”

He sits in silence as we race
Through cold sunrise
To exploding dust
From swinging picks
Hard on desert dirt
Air brushing his body
Sweat into thin mud coats
Assaulting throat
Like dust devils
In wasteland crossings
With water stolen
By slight of sun
On coyotes run.

Poverty to hope.
From de pobreza a esperanza…

The tires roar on concrete
As Christmas music begins
To smooth the road.
Pablo stares far away,
I catch tears wiped
With harden hands.

Pablo points to radio,
“No mirado mi familia en siete anos...”
No family for seven years.

His tears bead on woolen sleeves
Like pearls on grass…
Como perlas en ei pasto.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, July 2, 2005

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