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(April 12, 1952 / Fresno, California)

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Saturday At The Canal

I was hoping to be happy by seventeen.
School was a sharp check mark in the roll book,
An obnoxious tuba playing at noon because our team
Was going to win at night. The teachers were
Too close to dying to understand. The hallways
Stank of poor grades and unwashed hair. Thus,
A friend and I sat watching the water on Saturday,
Neither of us talking much, just warming ourselves
By hurling large rocks at the dusty ground
And feeling awful because San Francisco was a postcard
On a bedroom wall. We wanted to go there,
Hitchhike under the last migrating birds
And be with people who knew more than three chords
On a guitar. We didn't drink or smoke,
But our hair was shoulder length, wild when
The wind picked up and the shadows of
This loneliness gripped loose dirt. By bus or car,
By the sway of train over a long bridge,
We wanted to get out. The years froze
As we sat on the bank. Our eyes followed the water,
White-tipped but dark underneath, racing out of town.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Read poems about / on: guitar, car, school, hair, water, happy, friend, people, wind, dark, night, teacher, hope

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Comments about this poem (Saturday At The Canal by Gary Soto )

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  • Joe Boldy (2/7/2012 9:56:00 AM)

    Like this if you hate when you dropp a big poop and the water comes back up and splashes your butt

    71 person liked.
    34 person did not like.
  • Joe Boldy (2/7/2012 9:53:00 AM)

    Like this if you hate when you dropp a big poop and the water comes back up and splashes your butt

  • Jasmin Whyte (3/14/2009 12:22:00 PM)

    i love the rich text and how you take the reader into the boredom of adolescence without ever losing their interest. Thank you

  • Neojuna Riddick (2/1/2008 8:28:00 AM)

    first off nice comments you get.haha interesting poem

  • Kit Kirames (12/19/2006 6:46:00 AM)

    hi guys its me kity cat

  • Pat Mcrouch (3/9/2005 10:27:00 AM)

    i have a raging boner

  • Pat Mcrouch (3/9/2005 10:27:00 AM)

    gary soto is a stoner and you know it

Read all 7 comments »

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