Thursday, April 3, 2014

April is National Poetry Month, Day 3

Sundays After Breakfast: A Lesson in Cotton Picking

South Texas, 1943

It was a kind
of dance: feet
shuffling in dust,

hands like birds:

blood staining
brown birds red.

Cotton sacks, twelve
feet long,

dragging behind
like a tongue—

fat and slow
as sun.
I watch him:

slow weep
of his eye

the girl who’d name
and nurse
nine children.

He picks
my grandma
by the color

of her dress,
her eyes,
and because she’s lucky,
by how much cotton
she can pick.

by Laurie Ann Guerrero, originally appearing in A Tongue In The Mouth Of The Dying (University of Notre Dame Press, 2013)

Laurie Ann Guerrero was recently named San Antonio Poet Laureate.

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