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Saturday At The Canal

Written by: Gary Soto | Biography
 I was hoping to be happy by seventeen.
School was a sharp check mark in the roll book, An obnoxious tuba playing at noon because our team Was going to win at night.
The teachers were Too close to dying to understand.
The hallways Stank of poor grades and unwashed hair.
Thus, A friend and I sat watching the water on Saturday, Neither of us talking much, just warming ourselves By hurling large rocks at the dusty ground And feeling awful because San Francisco was a postcard On a bedroom wall.
We wanted to go there, Hitchhike under the last migrating birds And be with people who knew more than three chords On a guitar.
We didn't drink or smoke, But our hair was shoulder length, wild when The wind picked up and the shadows of This loneliness gripped loose dirt.
By bus or car, By the sway of train over a long bridge, We wanted to get out.
The years froze As we sat on the bank.
Our eyes followed the water, White-tipped but dark underneath, racing out of town.



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