Jimmy Santiago Baca
I prefer red chile over my eggs
and potatoes for breakfast.
Red chile ristras decorate my door,
dry on my roof, and hang from eaves.
They lend open-air vegetable stands
historical grandeur, and gently swing
with an air of festive welcome.
I can hear them talking in the wind,
haggard, yellowing, crisp, rasping
tongues of old men, licking the breeze.
But grandmother loves green chile.
When I visit her,
she holds the green chile pepper
in her wrinkled hands.
Ah, voluptuous, masculine,
an air of authority and youth simmers
from its swan-neck stem, tapering to a flowery collar,
fermenting resinous spice.
A well-dressed gentleman at the door
my grandmother takes sensuously in her hand,
rubbing its firm glossed sides,
caressing the oily rubbery serpent,
with mouth -watering fulfillment,
fondling its curves with gentle fingers.
Its bearing magnificent and taut
as flanks of a tiger in mid-leap,
she thrusts her blade into
and cuts it open, with lust
on her hot mouth, sweating over the stove,
bandanna round her forehead,
mysterious passion on her face
as she serves me green chile con carne
between soft warm leaves of corn tortillas,
with beans and rice–her sacrifice
to here little prince.
I slurp form my plate
with last bit of tortilla, my mouth burns
and I hiss and drink a tall glass of cold water.
All over New Mexico, sunburned men and women
drive rickety trucks stuffed with gunny sacks
of green chile, from Belen, Beguita, Wllard, Estancia,
San Antonio y Socorro, from fields
to roadside stands, you see them roasting green chile
in screen-sided homemade barrels, and for a dollar a bag,
we relive this old, beautiful ritual again and again.
Jimmy Santiago Baca's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Green Chile by Jimmy Santiago Baca )
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)
(10 February 1970-)
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, Mary Elizabeth Frye
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Alone, Maya Angelou
- Main To Jhonka Hu Hava Ka Ura Le Jaunga, Kumar Vishwas
- Best Friend (In Hindi), Tavneet Singh
Poem of the Day
- Floating on Whimsy, Nika McGuin
- Weapon of Words, Yemi Amoo
- The Jars, Nika McGuin
- Heartfelt Trust, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- NIGHT WHISPER, john chizoba vincent
- Missing, Marilyn Jean
- Mourning Glory, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- I Seem Deprived, But..., Brave Hearts
- No More War for Heroes Forty-Four, Tom Navarro
- Vintage Dreams, Nika McGuin