CHOPPER! CHOPPER! POETRY FROM BORDERED LIVES: Verónica Reyes
2013, 112 pages, $18.95
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Distributed to the trade by:
Chicago Distribution Center
"Desert Rain: An Anointment"
Thick clouds pulled over the cielo like a charcoal rebozo
Loud claps pounded as if manos slapped masa together,
thundering its message, "I'm coming...I'm coming"
and the withering grass like a viejito perked up to see
Everyone looked up to the gray-white puffs draping the sky
Nopal and hefty maguey stretched upward for fat drops
They waited so long for summer rains to inspire life, again
And the sky opened its boca and awed a desert rain wind
Streams of plump gotas fell on top of the thirsty tierra,
splattering the ground leaving half lunas on the land
Socorro stepped outside of her blue home near the freeway
Let the warm water wet her brown arms under the awning
She inhaled deeply the moist zacate, tierra, driveway
"Mmm Zacatecas. El valle de mi corazón,
Xochitl. Alla en el puebilito donde yo nací.
Olía como...como ocotillo y tunas."
Xochitl clung to her Amá's pale-blue vestido, smiled
and stared at the big sky while standing on the red porch
Vowed a little sueño to herself and kept it tucked inside
She proclaimed proudly in her six-year-old voice
"Mmm, Zacatecas, Mami, Zacatecas."
Socorro laughed and with her moist fingers she anointed
herself then her daughter with midday desert rain in the city
The agua took her back to her childhood in México
Rain that blessed her alma como copal shrouding her skin
She inhaled the desert aroma over concrete, nopales,
and limones beneath splintered street telephone wires
Socorro breathed in once and inhaled México in East L.A.