Saturday Poem


Sometimes he’d be washing the car
. . . all by himself
and he’d say, “Damn!”
or sweeping the last morsels of leaves
onto an old dustpan
saved just for outside
for when he was alone
in the silence of summer afternoons
he’d say. “Damn!”
He didn’t go to his abuelita’s funeral
He wasn’t there when his father died
He was with somebody else he loved,
and he wasn’t there the moment she died
Y le pasaba, sabes?
An anvil of loneliness
would fall onto his chest
and he’d say, “Damn!”

by Cézar A González
Paper Dance
Persea Books, NY, NY, 1995

Y le pasaba, sabes (and it happened to him, you know)