Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Dikt; A Red Palm av Gary Soto

 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 fish for wife
 And three sons. Another row, another fish,
 Until you have enough and move on to milk,
 Bread, meat. Ten hours and the cupboards creak.
 You can rest in the back yard under a tree.
 Your hands twitch on your lap,
 Not unlike the fish on a pier or the bottom
 Of a boat. You drink iced tea. The minutes jerk
 Like flies.

 It's dusk, now night,
 And the lights in your home are on.
 That costs money, yellow light
 In the kitchen. That's thirty steps,
 You say to your hands,
 Now shaped into binoculars.
 You could raise them to your eyes:
 You were a fool in school, now look at you.
 You're a giant among cotton plants.
 Now you see your oldest boy, also running.
 Papa, he says, it's time to come in.
 You pull him into your lap
 And ask, What's forty times nine?
 He knows as well as you, and you smile.
 The wind makes peace with the trees,
 The stars strike themselves in the dark.
 You get up and walk with the sigh of cotton plants.
 You go to sleep with a red sun on your palm,
 The sore light you see when you first stir in bed.

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