poetry critical

online poetry workshop



Scars and Tales and a Business of his Own
Isabelle5

Kiss the boy, he was a street kid,
 1
running with a gang
 2
who tagged and snagged and disappeared.
 3
 
 
The scar from the hatchet that
 4
changed his life stands out
 5
on the back of his head, where even now,
 6
at 40, the hair will not grow
 7
 
 
and the blue tear drop under his eye
 8
has been lasered away until only a dark spot
 9
remains.
 10
 
 
He turns away when I ask,
 11
even all these years later.
 12
 
 
He keeps a tight grip on his sons,
 13
both at the age of wreckage
 14
and doubt and the gangs
 15
in Santa Ana are waiting to see
 16
what they will choose.
 17
 
 
He crossed the border alone at 12 -
 18
an uncle got him into school
 19
then took him out at 13 to work off
 20
the debt to the coyote.
 21
 
 
What childhood he had was farther South
 22
than I will ever be and farther still
 23
is what he lived and he survived.
 24
 
 
I randomly kiss his scars, greet the tattoo
 25
of Jesus blazed across his chest,
 26
later admire his newest van,
 27
his mobile car wash business going strong
 28
into its third year
 29
 
 
and when, now and then, he stops at
 30
Home Depot to find itinerant workers,
 31
they will not come.
 32
 
 
Too much work to wash and buff all day,
 33
better to hang with their boys,
 34
shoot the shit while they watch for cops,
 35
go home and tell their family,
 36
 
 
"No, there was no work today."
 37

29 Oct 14


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