Lorna Dee Cervantes

Here is a poem I like.

Freeway 280

Las casitas near the gray cannery,
nestled amid wild abrazos of climbing roses
and man-high red geraniums
are gone now. The freeway conceals it
all beneath a raised scar.

But under the fake windsounds of the open lanes,
in the abandoned lots below, new grasses sprout,
wild mustard remembers, old gardens
come back stronger than they were,
trees have been left standing in their yards.
Albaricoqueros, cerezos, nogales . . .
Viejitas come here with paper bags to gather greens.
Espinacas, verdolagas, yerbabuena . . .

I scramble over the wire fence
that would have kept me out.
Once, I wanted out, wanted the rigid lanes
to take me to a place without sun,
without the smell of tomatoes burning
on swing shift in the greasy summer air.

Maybe it’s here
en los campos extraños de esta ciudad
where I’ll find it, that part of me
mown under
like a corpse
or a loose seed.

Axé.

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4 Comments

Filed under Poetry

4 responses to “Lorna Dee Cervantes

  1. Lisa

    She is one of the poets I teach – and I like to teach – in my Chicano lit class. This first collection especially.

  2. Lisa

    Please excuse my typos, so seldom visible to me until after I post.

  3. Lisa

    You are so kind. I have a complicated relationship with my reading glasses.

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