Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hambriente/ Hunger

¡Hola! Everybody...
Thought this was appropriate...

* * *

-=[ Contemporary American Hunger ]=-

by John Olivares Espinoza

We were the newest broke Mexicans to settle in Indio,
Mom having quit her job at school
To rest her neck, tense from hovering
Like a desk lamp over the Special-Ed kids.
Albert and I, barely hip-high
To our mother, unaware of our budget,
salivated as we thought of the dry buns,
The grade B patties of Argentine beef at McDonalds --
For what our TV eyes believed was the best lunch in town.

At McD's, we paid for two cheeseburgers.
Mom pulled out her blue purse, laid
a buck thirty-eight --
Two dull quarters,
Six dimes, five nickels,
And three parking-lot pennies.
The cashier's forefinger counted
The change as Mom held up the line,
While regulars tapped
Their feet behind her. She stood red-faced,
For these burgers slid towards her
On a bright plastic tray.

Bun by bun, Mom bulldozed
With a plastic knife the spread of ketchup,
Mustard and chopped onion
Before slicing the burgers to give each of her sons a half.
Satisfied, we ventured through a rainbow
Of tubes and balls with the other kids,
Their stomachs full of Big Macs or Happy Meals.
But we were happy too -- better than staying
At home on a Saturday
Eating potato tacos after our yard chores.
Did Mom sit there and watch us play?
I only remember her fingers neatly wrapping
The remaining half in greasy red and yellow paper,
Then tucking the lump away in her purse, sustenance for later.

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