Gary Soto

(1952 / Fresno, California)

Gary Soto Poems

1. How Things Work 8/17/2015
2. The Drought 2/24/2016
3. After Tonight 5/24/2016
4. Chiapas 5/24/2016
5. The Elements of San Joaquin 5/24/2016
6. Graciela 5/24/2016
7. The Jungle Café 5/24/2016
8. Late Confession 5/24/2016
9. Making Money: Drought Year in Minkler, California 5/24/2016
10. The Map 5/24/2016
11. Self-Inquiry before the Job Interview 5/24/2016
12. The Tale of Sunlight 5/24/2016
13. Teaching English from an Old Composition Book 5/24/2016
14. Mission Tire Factory, 1969 1/20/2003
15. Saturday At The Canal 1/13/2003
16. A Red Palm 1/20/2003
Best Poem of Gary Soto

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,
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 ...

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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.

They entered the valley, and passed the roads that went
Trackless, the houses blown open, their cellars creaking
And lined with the bottles that held their breath for years.

They passed the fields where the trees dried thin as hat racks

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