Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas in Texas

This is in response to last week's totally optional prompt, about a roadsign in empty country, which reminded me of our every-other-year journeys through the Southwest to have Christmas with my Dad's family in Texas.

The telephone wires ride their poles, up and down
The saguaros pivot slowly, hauling the car
Down the shimmering highway. We rise and fall
With the land that is no longer Oregon,
Not yet Texas.

Soon we will come to the end
Of the sweet high country of New Mexico.
My Dad will pull over to change his shirt,
And then we will arrive

In El Paso. My grandparents have a miracle,
a grapefruit tree, in their back yard.
My cousins call my uncle "sir,"
As if he were a stranger, not their father.
Dark Mexicans lurk in the parking lots.
We are not quite sure what is wrong about the Mexicans;
No one wants to talk about them.

But we drive across the border one day, so we kids
Can say we have been to Mexico. We are warned:
The Mexicans will try to steal from us and cheat us;
We are not to trust them. So we don't:
But their eyes are kind, dark and kind,
As we trail through the shops.

All the way home, I think about their eyes,
So different from our cold hard blue.

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