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Best Famous Gary Soto Poems

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by Gary Soto |

Oranges

The first time I walked
With a girl, I was twelve,
Cold, and weighted down
With two oranges in my jacket.
December.
Frost cracking Beneath my steps, my breath Before me, then gone, As I walked toward Her house, the one whose Porch light burned yellow Night and day, in any weather.
A dog barked at me, until She came out pulling At her gloves, face bright With rouge.
I smiled, Touched her shoulder, and led Her down the street, across A used car lot and a line Of newly planted trees, Until we were breathing Before a drugstore.
We Entered, the tiny bell Bringing a saleslady Down a narrow aisle of goods.
I turned to the candies Tiered like bleachers, And asked what she wanted - Light in her eyes, a smile Starting at the corners Of her mouth.
I fingered A nickle in my pocket, And when she lifted a chocolate That cost a dime, I didn't say anything.
I took the nickle from My pocket, then an orange, And set them quietly on The counter.
When I looked up, The lady's eyes met mine, And held them, knowing Very well what it was all About.
Outside, A few cars hissing past, Fog hanging like old Coats between the trees.
I took my girl's hand In mine for two blocks, Then released it to let Her unwrap the chocolate.
I peeled my orange That was so bright against The gray of December That, from some distance, Someone might have thought I was making a fire in my hands.


by Gary Soto |

Saturday At The Canal

 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.