A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
It was my usual walk from work,
in suit and tie, tired from the day.
I approached the ballpark. They came
toward me, laughing—a gang of about five
energized, jeering, laughing young men—
still dressed in their baseball stripes, bats and gloves
in hand, smiles still wide from an obvious win.
As they rushed past, an arm glanced mine and
I heard the words, “Hermoso papi chulo!”
From what little Spanish I knew,
it was a compliment.
(But one is never sure).
And thus crowned, I turned to them,
smiled, embarrassed, red.
They spoke other words in Spanish I could
not catch, and the young man then said,
“Mister, do you understand?”
I nodded. I wanted to say something back,
but I didn’t know, or have, the words with
which to crown them in return.
Copyright 2017 Philip F. Clark. From The Carnival of Affection (Sibling Rivalry Press). Included in Vox Populi by permission of the author.