Early Poems

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AMAZON SAID IT, NOT ME ;-) :

Mixing the lyrical with the colloquial, the tender with the tough, Ana Castillo has a deserved reputation as one of the country’s most powerful and entrancing novelists, but she began her literary career as a poet of uncompromising commitment and passion. My Father Was a Toltec is the sassy and street-wise collection of poems that established and secured Castillo’s place in the popular canon. It is included here in its entirety along with the best of her early poems.

http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/samples/random051/2003062897.html

Saturdays
c. 1968

Because she worked all week
away from home, gone from 5 to 5,
Saturdays she did the laundry,
pulled the wringer machine
to the kitchen sink, and hung
the clothes out on the line.
At night, we took it down and ironed.
Mine were his handkerchiefs and
boxer shorts. She did his work
pants (never worn on the street)
and shirts, pressed the collars
and cuffs, just so–
as he bathed,
donned the tailor-made silk suit
bought on her credit, had her
adjust the tie.

“How do I look?”
“Bien,” went on ironing.
That’s why he married her, a Mexican
woman, like his mother, not like
they were in Chicago, not like
the one he was going out to meet.

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