I walked into Tune-Up recently and ran into my friend and former student Lorenzo Atencio who was having lunch with his wife. He handed me a copy of this lovely chapbook of his poetry. What a treat!
Here is the first poem in the book, and one of my favorites.
Growing Up In Espanola
A dollar rode an iron horse into town Carrying a fat man and a little boy. The whistle screamed at the tower clock
To wake up and time the race.
Life is so different now
But I remember it was simple then:
“Swimming” in the acequia;
Making vanilla ice cream by hand;
Selling tamales out of a bucket around town;
Rocking my infant siblings while the kids play baseball;
Serving mass at 6:30 a.m. during the summer months;
Eating apples and cherries right off the neighbors’ trees when they weren’t home;
Eating grandma’s homemade bread with butter right out of the oven;
Watching my uncle butcher a cow or a hog;
Hoeing and watering the garden early in the morning before the temperature get too hot;
Camping with the Boy Scouts in Santa Clara Canyon; Chopping wood for my aunt.;
Having boxing tournaments with my cousins for a quarter; Selling apples and apricots next to the road;
Buying 37 used comic books for a dollar;
The dollar has swept that life away like a tsunami.