Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Jose Padua: Recollection During a Light Storm in the Valley

On 14th Street near Avenue B
I’m walking in New York City
during the short middle
of a long summer day
behind a lovely, young,
brown-skinned mother pushing
her child in a stroller
when a man in his late middle
age whose skin has seen
too much sun, too much wind
walks down the steps
with his eyes and says to her,
“Take that little rug rat home—
stick him in the oven”
with a satisfied sneer on
his wrinkled, leather face.
And the mother does what
she can, which is to keep
walking, keep ignoring
this ugly man and his
ugly joke and keep being
strong like only a mother
can be strong and so
I moved on down 14th Street,
around the corner,
and into my favorite bar on that block.
So many years before
I had children of my own,
so many miles away
from this beautiful fall rain.

Copyright 2015 Jose Padua


Photograph by Jose Padua

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This entry was posted on January 18, 2016 by in Poetry, Social Justice and tagged , , , .
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