Saturday Poem


To have been gone so long
But to have forgotten hail,
its name in Spanish, granizo,
until a storm, as I drove
toward a place named Golondrinas,
eight miles from the main highway
because I was enchanted by the name
I was home again,
if only for a while, after eighteen years
I remembered my grandfather, his cornfield
Somehow granizo belongs to him
He named it each summer
as he sat and watched, defined its terror
An old enemy, the way only water,
if it isn't gentle rain, can be

by Leroy Quintana
from After Atzlan, Latino Poets of the Nineties
Godine Publishing, 1992