Poetry

August 16, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Peg Hunter photo

 

By

Frank Kearns

 

 

 

Dreaming in America

 

 

A courtyard by Olvera Street

chairs and microphone arranged

adults—teachers, volunteers

 

in front    a dozen students stand

one steps up when introduced

and begins to speak

 

her voice sails north from Sinaloa

past Sonora’s ancient sands

El Paso and Los Angeles

 

she speaks of rising past her past

dreams the future bright   and we —

sitting in the audience—agree

 

but who among us dreams

the white of blinding spotlights cutting

shadows in the night

 

who among us knows

of sitting on a dark El Paso curb

of seeing van doors swallow fathers

 

as the flashing reds and blues

reflect off bits of trash and oil

to tattoo lines across her mind

 

that darken like a child’s scribble

whenever it is time for her

to dream about America

 

 

 

 

 

Puerto Rico

 

Found words from the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times

 

 

No light at night against the darkness

deeper and more ominous than ever

 

A series of tweets last Saturday

The silence has a texture

 

Rico: rich, wealthy, delicious, exquisite

The shelter lost electricity

 

The steady quiet from Washington

has an ugly feel

 

Trump lobs paper towels

 

Waiting is what Puerto Rico does best

500 years of Spanish empire

 

The elderly are dying

at twice the typical rate

 

Half my house was made of cement

I still have that one wall

 

 

 

 

 

Frank Kearns

Frank Kearns is a transplanted New Englander and a longtime California resident. He is the author of two poetry collections, “Circling Venice” (2013) and “Yearlings” (2015). His work has also appeared in anthologies such as “Beyond the Lyric Moment,” “Like a Girl: Perspectives on Feminism,” “The California Writers Club Literary Review,” and “Now and Then.”

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