Best Culture Poems | Poetry
Below are the all-time best Culture poems written by Poets on PoetrySoup. These top poems in list format are the best examples of culture poems written by PoetrySoup members
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New Culture Poems
Don't stop! The most popular and best Culture poems are below this new poems list.
Nurture Self Sufficient Culture
by Horn, James
African Mis-Culture Worm
by sensele, john
A NEW CULTURE
by Talbot, Mick
by Madubuike , Joshua
Embrace A Conducive Culture
by sensele, john
Mixed Culture Stream
by sensele, john
by Welch, David
Trump Culture War
by Horn, James
Not all culture are the same
by Jean-Baptiste, Nagella
Christian Culture In The Scripture
by Asuncion, Bernard F.
View all new Culture Poems
The Best Culture Poems
I see the wrinkles in your suntanned brow,
You carried burdens then; you see them now.
You’ve heard the cries your people who in pain,
Have shed their tears two hundred years like rain.
Your sad brown eyes, reflecting now the sky
I see the wings of eagles flying by
Beside you stands an Appaloosa mare
Her spirit one with you now over there.
You hear the drums, they bid you to come near,
Your spirit drawn the beats they ring so clear.
Song like prayers are chanted through the night,
Calling you come, and help them end their plight.
You’ve heard sad cries and now stand at their side,
You join the prayers with both arms open wide,
United spirits sing until the dawn,
When in the fire’s flames a golden fawn.
Remembering a smile crosses your face,
When tribes were one with Mother Nature’s grace.
The lakes and streams flowing with waters clear,
Flow sadly now, the planet lives in fear.
The weightless feathers that adorn your head
Your tribes grey future weighed you down instead.
Now breathing deep you smell the winds of change
While here on earth your people rearrange.
Written by Brenda Meier-Hans
Giorgio A.V. Contest
Copyright © Brenda Meier-Hans | Year Posted 2014
Has the convenience of technology
inoculated us from reality?
Do androids dream of electric sheep?
I pray the code my soul to keep?
Does your universe live within 4G
Or megapixel infinity?
Which memory lies within
The one that was
Or the one that's been
Or how much gig how much ram?
Which reality is true?
Or cyber you?
Or cyber brief?
Who is the real identity thief?
Hours spent glaring into the screen
Choosing an alternate username.
Status updates and trending tweets
Fill your mind and rob your sleep.
Clever hashtags and Instagram
Will shape your image and gain more friends.
Is the you you've shaped in cyberspace
The same you I'd see face to face?
We hide behind our computer screens
And criticize with brutal ease.
Is buying souls of men you see
And robbing the ability to dream real dreams.
I want to conquer something real
That I can grab that I can feel.
I want to touch life and hold on tight
I want to unblock true friends
And "like" real sights.
I want conversation face to face
In real world time
In a real world place.
Copyright © Kelly Crenshaw | Year Posted 2014
You were born in a specialist clinic
I was born at the front door of my house
we both came into this world and survived.
You’ve been eating foreign cuisines and expensive delicacies
I’ve been taking porridge and traditional soups
we both have grown and are a significant part of the society.
You go to school in Jeeps and exotic vehicles
I use public transport and finish it up with a walk
we both went to learning institutions and acquired knowledge.
You roll with the high and mighty and get a super model married
I’m surrounded by the middle class
and marries one never will be in Wikipedia
we both are active in the food chain and wonderfully living our lives.
You become a CEO or rather own a firm
I get employed by you to run your empire
we both sure need each other to function and drive.
Gold and Diamonds will decorate the casket of your funeral
mine may not even be worthy of a coffin, just a plain box
we’ll nevertheless be dead and our chapter closed without preference.
It is only a pathology when the eye gets larger than its socket,
comparison cuts the muscles of esteem and gives greed a new suit,
making simplicity a very complex attribute to attain
and a life full of complexities a better friend to existence.
Life is simple, we just make it complicated.
A civil servant wants to live at par with a tycoon
allowing his throat tie down the strength of his hands.
Every destination has different roads,
be it the highway or a rocky path.
Take the one within your speed limit,
the timing may show some reaching before or better than others
but the most important thing is, the destination reached
as achievement is decorated while life stay simple.
Copyright © Funom Makama | Year Posted 2015
Gray smeared sky like a quilt of rags
Winos sip rotgut from brown paper bags
Threadbare cloud crotch splits up the side
Rain pours down, you got nowhere to hide
Cheap umbrella from a street-corner pimp
Turns inside out before going limp
Putrid puddles, soggy dog doo dollops
Are artfully dodged by high-heeled trollops
A rat scurries by with a piece of bread
Like the ant that totes a leaf on its head
You too once held big dreams in your grasp
But they got drowned with a gurgling gasp
You told me before, no you don't stutter
Your genius ideas got washed down the gutter
Now like a scavenger after a flood
You salvage what's left from out of the mud
Ashes to crashes, lust to rust
In the end it only goes bust
Caught in between the future and past
You start out just fine but finish dead last
by Brian McClain - Jan 23, 2016
Copyright © Brian McClain | Year Posted 2016
As Joe was biking down the side of the road
He ran across a chap with a dearth of driving skills.
Or more accurately, the driver almost ran over Joe;
'Twas one of life’s unwanted thrills.
A spirited exchange ensued between them
About who was in the right.
But this being the delicate poetrysoup,
I’ll keep the language light:
“You fornicating chewer of masculine appendages,”
Quoth the driver. “What the fornicating inferno were you doing?”
Replied Joe, “Just following the traffic signs,
you premenstrual hyena in need of screwing.”
He quipped, “You’re replete with fornicating doo-doo,
My light was coitally green.”
Quoth Joe, “Alas, your light was not.
And your maternal unit stars in movies obscene.”
Said he, “A shower of gold, is what I’m told,
May clarify your sight.”
Retorted Joe, “Stay in that car, spawn of Jar-Jar,
or you’ll be seeing lots of lights.”
“Perhaps remove the telephone pole,” said he,
“From where you store your bowel.”
Quipped Joe, “So I could fire a methane cloud in your direction?”
Oh my, how the driver did howl.
The driver continued. “I don’t give an airborne
intimate encounter about you and your bike.”
One thing was abundantly clear,
This man Joe didn’t like.
Joe gave not a rodent’s backside
For this foul troll’s attitude.
Yet the driver felt inclined to continue
with his prattling so rude:
“Consume excrement and expire,
you maternally fornicating
portion-of excrement consuming
rah-rah blah blah…” He continued bloviating.
Suggested Joe when he finished, “Might I refer you to a friend,
one you clearly need?”
He’s a cranio-proctologist,
The best around, indeed.”
“I invite you to perform an antatomically
challenging act of self-gratification,” quoth he.
“I ought to apply my foot to your tightly clad posterior
and then everyone will see.”
“While I’m good at riding bikes,” said Joe,
“Flexibility is not my strong suit.”
“So the contortionism is out,
and I plan to continue my route.”
“And as far as threats go,
I must say that I’m not very impressed.
I wouldn’t bet your Hollywood looks
on what I sure hope is a jest.”
“In matters of fitness, you clearly lag,” noted Joe.
Which is why you’re in the car, and I’m not.
Thus, I cordially invite you to make a bowel movement
or kindly get off the pot.”
Happily the driver understood the score.
Away he drove with a whine.
Turns out he had to rearrange a sock drawer.
“Too bad, “ thought Joe. “He talked such a good line.”
Away Joe pedaled into the day,
Whistling a happy tune,
hoping not to encounter such a
fornicating bowel movement show anytime soon.
Copyright © Tom Quigley | Year Posted 2016
The mind of each man is a savage garden - Anne Rice
Sargeant Pepper smokes his stogie
in a capsized submarine-
Lucky Lucy clad in yellow
wears her purple diamond ring
rainbow demons play gin rummy
on a sunlit July morn-
Captain Kirk and Ensign Sulu
wrestle with a lizard Gorn
love me tender leaves them weeping
Uncle Miltie turns them red-
Joseph Stalin keeps them hungry
Adolph Hitler slays them dead
genocides and ethnic cleansings
purify the holy land-
Christians burning with their Bibles
on the stake at Pope's command
gen'rals gather in their masses
death and hatred to mankind-
just like witches at black masses
poisoning each brainwashed mind
helter skelter shelter me
save me from catastrophe
turn the corner love your brother
wish away all hellish dreams-
join us in this celebration
all is not quite as it seems
take a moonwalk with your neighbor
sail away on gentle seas-
meteoric skies are dawning
let us all get on our knees
Apocalyptic dirges tweeting
Babylon will see her end-
slay the godless beast she rides on
yea, 'tis just around the bend
Ziggy Stardust sings soprano
Alfred Neuman's lost in space-
Jello pudding wooed Bill Cosby
now it's just a big disgrace
wanting red but getting turquoise
loving her but missing you-
children in the distance crying
breaking achy hearts in two
shine on you crazy diamond
shine until the break of dawn
Copyright © July Morning | Year Posted 2018
"Made In China"
They can have my money
If it saves me money
The toys I played with when I was young,
Says I enjoyed their hands
The Labels read
"MADE IN CHINA"
The cheap material on my back, the shoes I wore.
How easily they faded and tore
However, I enjoyed their hands
The Tags on my rags;
"MADE IN CHINA"
The car I own saves money on gas
A tiny Honda Civic, takes me everywhere
I love my sweet silver car
"Manufactured in China"
The never been used--Made in the USA--cookware I own,
Says, I don't work hard at all:)
Yummy to Chinese all you can eat take Outs
Thank you China for being part of this world
Thank you China, for making this world a part of yours.
MADE IN CHINA
Shipped easily in a box
Copyright © SKAT A | Year Posted 2013
You call me insensitive,
But I don't believe that's true;
Because, you see,
It's all about me.
It's not about you.
You say your opinion doesn’t matter,
That I’ve no respect for your point of view;
But I do if we agree,
Because it’s all about me.
It’s not about you.
You say I’ve no compassion,
No feelings for your troubles or your blues;
But none of us is issue free,
And mine are all about me;
But…not about you.
A time old adage,
“To thine own self be true.”,
Is all about choices you see.
My choices are all about me,
And, certainly, not about you.
So, when its time to make your choices
You’ll understand and know it’s true;
To decide what will or will not be,
Won’t be at all about me;
It will be all about you
But special moments confront most of us,
When what matters isn’t “Me”.
And while these moments are few,
They’re not about me, not about you.
For a time, it’s all about “We.”
Yes, “…no man is an island.”
Is a valid point of view;
But if it’s not about “We”,
Then it’s all about me.
Sorry. It’s not about you.
Copyright © Robert Candler | Year Posted 2014
-THIS IS NOT A POEM-
Hey, Poets stop by, give me a shout out.
Tell Me Where You Are From;)
I promise I won't show up on your doorstep.
If you are having a bad day, let me have it
If you have awesome news, don't be greedy
By all means --- SHARE THE NEWS!!!
................. LOVE THE POET DESTROYER
Copyright © Poet Destroyer A | Year Posted 2015
I love my broken English
Am in love with my broken English
Am honored to have two other languages
The ability to think from language to language is one that many don't experience
The ability to bring vibes from one language to another is one, that many envy
Sometimes it's like a train, English flows easily before it gets to a halt
Sometimes it's a bus with many stops, some harsh, some dash, some flash
And some mistakenly whether car or train, crash
Some like aeroplane, are up there in the air
Building their own castles
Creating unfamiliar words
Whether writing from kikuyu to English
Or kikuyu to Swahili and then to English
Or just writing from the little dash of English that I learnt from my English classes,
With poetry,I can still escape
Whether in the veiled grammatical errors
Or just like a volatile chameleon
Copyright © njeri hunjeri | Year Posted 2015
I'm sure this hill is where it stood.
Amazing shapes of stuccoed wood.
A glass-brick, neon stream-lined place.
As if it flew from outer space,
A swing band auditorium,
An Art Deco emporium,
When romance, innocent in pace,
From dancing to a teasing chase.
The town grew west in modern haste
And down it came, without a trace.
The war and culture's change in taste,
Predestined doom, the past erased.
The future sighs, with solemn face
The wrecking ball, the glittered waste
No plaque to read "Historic Sight".
The swirling dust, a dance goodnight.
Copyright © Gene Bourne | Year Posted 2014
How many souls live on the edge,
Between the gutter and the ledge?
A hopeless fear crawls in their gut,
Each day, another endless rut.
The moments pass profoundly slow
Sad, bitter winds are all that blow.
A man lay huddled near the bin
Hoping death will take him in.
Frozen tears, on wrinkled cheeks
Frostbitten ears, and shoes that leak.
His mind forgets the games of tag,
Old Crockett's hill, where down they'd slide.
A summer rain, the puddles deep
Out catchin' toads, to tame and keep.
His life began with dimpled cheeks,
Red tousled hair, and hide 'n seek.
A tough old Dad who tricked and teased
A pretty Mom who smiled with ease.
They had a farm with fields of hay
A few old hogs, and bills to pay.
One summer day, the sky turned black.
A howling wind brought down their shack.
Dad sold the hogs, and cut the hay.
The farm was lost, we drove away.
The next two years were grim and lean.
Dad broke his back, to feed us beans.
When winter came our food ran out.
We found old Dad hung by a rope.
Without poor Dad, no food or fire;
Mom took my hand, the day was dire.
The Sister's face looked mean and sour.
I thought of Mom most every hour.
They scrubbed my back until it bled.
cut off my hair, then I got fed.
'Twas many years before I left,
My Mom had died a tragic death.
Now all alone, I lived and slept.
I begged for food, and sometimes wept.
A life of days and endless woe,
Now time is dead, and death too slow.
As you walk by those 'homeless freaks'
Remember me, with dimpled cheeks.
Copyright © Kimberly Shaw | Year Posted 2014
The girl is an ultra-modern scholar,
Belongs with an upper-middle class family.
Looking very nice, smart, gets angry suddenly.
She reads M.A in English at Presidency University.
She is assimilating to the ideas of Shakespeare,
Shelley, Keats, Neruda, Byron...
Fluently speaks English, loves cricket.
Shoulders are shaken by expression.
She cries alone, laughs with everyone....
The girl is very good.
The boy is a post-modern educated son of a lower-middle class family.
He studies M.A in Bengali at Calcutta University.
He is assimilating to the routes of Vaishnab literature,
Ideas of Bharatchandra, Rabindranath Tagore, Nazrul, Jibanananda...
Writes poems, sings song, loves football.
He walks on the high-street and observes people.
He laughs alone, listens to everyone...
The boy is very good.
They are attracted by the opposite personality!
The girl wants that her lover will be a modern man.
The boy thinks that his lover will become as the mind of his.
They are changing silently
Love goes to another address...
SANDIP GOSWAMI, INDIA
Copyright © Sandip Goswami | Year Posted 2014
A angry sky, as cauld as Loch Lomon'
fair drew me out from cot o' peat, an' bed.
The wolves wus wailin', an' thund'r respond'd
Ah gather'd tam, me tartan, an' dug Red.
To 'orse ah took an' found the 'erd sam 'urt.
The 'ungry wolves 'ad already fed.
Inta the bi'er blaw, the rill ah skirt
thro braes a white, t'ward ham an' fire burnin'
the bleatin' sheep, the 'orse an' ah alert.
We wud mak it hame, stomaches churnin'
O smell the peat fire on the wild wind now,
'ear the cows faint distant ca', a lowin'
'erself wud know, we'r near ta the brow.
Noo, we 'ad beat the storm hame, an' kep' me vow.
Dedicated to Jimbo Goff & James Fraser
and the spirit of Robin Burns
See About the Poem
Copyright © Debbie Guzzi | Year Posted 2014
A time for many a part-time passion, like
the discarded skin of Esprit jeans and low-hip waistline
baring pierced navel with flavor of a chase on the run…
would he dare confess real love as the world tolled
for Lady Diana and Charles?
You with me… moon to sun, fire to burn our eyes…
I swing on an illusion and steal the time away,
rustling along a Mustang’s back seat, while
some 8-CD tract pleads, "Do you think I’m sexy,’’
dipping in steams of instant affection.
How deep-cheeked your thrills
like Indiana Jones , knocking me
off-balance: and I, a fool ignoring the pain
that you may never Stand By Me,
never in blinks of thousand stars,
a recycled tune melting in the sand
now you’re just ozone’s hole...
I wrap the scenes along Route 25,
as bittersweet time passes by. Alone.
Kelly Deschler's Decades Contest
``Do You Think I'm Sexy
and Stand By Me-- top 80s songs
Copyright © nette onclaud | Year Posted 2015
She shuffled by our house, so slow and bent,
No second thought of where the lady went.
On her return, no one around to see.
A shaded path, she blended with the trees.
We children always giggled, as she passed.
A group emboldens others to harrass.
Our high pitched jeering from a hidden niche,
The frail, sunbonnet lady, we yelled "witch".
One day a fever kept me home from class.
I saw her weary shuffle down the path.
My over-active need to know convened.
I followed with excitement and unseen.
A house engulfed by weeds grown thick and tall,
As vines of every species claimed the walls.
Around the side, a window to peek in;
A man in bed with twisted, throbbing limbs.
The lady rubbed a salve to ease his pain.
And hummed a long forgotten song's refrain.
I blurted all I'd seen to mom and dad.
He stood in shocked alert and mom grew sad.
How soon the path was plowed into a drive,
A grocer truck and red-light cops arrived.
I last recall a fancy bike, brand new.
Events seem blurred, with growing up to do.
Copyright © Gene Bourne | Year Posted 2014
Where there are tears
There are no words
Where there is music
There are no words
Where there is painting
There are no words
Where there is love
There are no words
Where there is passion
Words run and hide
Where there is sadness
There are no words
Where there is poetry
The poet attempts justice to the word
Where there are tears
The poet mystically appears
Where there is death
There are words
Proclaiming dominance to all before
Music art and philosophy
For not all are artists and musicians
All we have left are words and sorrows
How so very sad
And so very absurd
Copyright © arthur vaso | Year Posted 2016
Limousines circle the premise like vultures of prey,
while the rest of us watch from a world, far away
Through the trees, down the meadow
is the grand old hotel.
Sycamores stand regal by two quivering ponds.
Where hosts greet each guest as the day stretches on.
Wearing coats with long tails, ... red satin vests,
and with proof on lapels, of fortune and wealth.
Too rich for our blood, and we are flooded with awe
Yet, we stopped to look in as the rich wile away.
We were trying, discreetly to blend into walls
Alabaster stone gates, and with thick marble tiles
were reeking affluence, that we'll never know
Heading back to the campground, on the river's west side
tucked into trees, where the sky doesn't hide,
the earth smells of burlap, of smoke in the pines,
the water is glistening, and the breeze never dies
Our belongings are in order, (in a disorderly way)
A camp-stove, a lantern, two bags to crawl in
A tent, (army surplus)…. and a stack of dry wood
We sit on damp grass, watching limos and drivers,
down in the valley, deliver their goods
Would we want to change places, if ever we could?
Would we trade all our moonscapes, and chipmunks, or food
cooked over a fire, with sparks sailing up high
into the middle of the vast velvet night?
Rising like fireflies, while reminding us why
we've been granted our millions, ….just by owning the sky
Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2016
Listen to the jazz instrumentals of Masekela,
as you take red wine outside a thatched
shelter in a beach in the Western Cape.
Enjoy a hearty meal of bobotie (meatloaf),
chakalaka (a spicy vegetable relish),
tomato bredie (a lamb and tomato stew),
potbrood (pot bread),
melktert ( dessert)......
and other forms of cuisine;
have a siesta in the canvas tents,
then you visit the misty mountains
of the Magoebaskloof.
To feel at one with nature,
visit Limpopo, and get lost in the awesomeness
of sighting elephants, lions, rhinos.....
You'll see baobab trees stretching their branches
to the red, setting sun;
get dazzled by the Limpopo river's majestic
flow to the Indian Ocean.
Introduce yourself to all kinds of dialects and people;
Africans, Dutch, Indians, and Malaysians.
Watch their traditional dances,
and listen to their folklore - it will remind you
we are from the same Womb; Earth.
See Nelson Mandela in people's smiles and way
of doing things in the cities, streets, and towns.
Listen to South Africa's unifying anthem,
as you take a ship back home......
Copyright © Teddy Kimathi | Year Posted 2017
WHERE THE BANKSIA’S BLOOM
My heart so yearns for the day’s way back when
your golden soil caressed my weary feet.
My mind is filled with treasures now and then
of the timeless land with its warm retreat.
Let time and distance take me back to where
the kookaburra’s sing and Banksia’s glow,
where the Aussies with their wit, show they care
with welcome calls; “G’day mate” and “ have a go”.
As the memories of the past unlocks
distant places to view your beauty’s might,
open spaces, grandeur of sculptured rocks,
the outback draws to its amazing sight.
As I seek to explore your beauty’s core,
most of all I long to see the Nullarbor.
11th March, 2017
For contest: Where I Want To Go
Sponsor: Nicola Byrne
Copyright © Teppo Gren | Year Posted 2017
Let me pass under the tunnel of trees
While shrouded in mist in tropical breeze.
Let island mysteries slowly unfold
As customs remain from centuries old.
Let me rise up to the Pali so rare
As I feel it's strong winds lash my long hair.
Honor ancestral spirits that surround
This beautiful 'aina and sacred ground.
A place where spirits of dead still abide,
Where a battle took place and suicide.
A warning to those who visit at night,
You'll meet with oddities causing great fright.
Viewing stunning Kaneohe below
Where with fierce tenacity trade winds blow,
My view from Pali I'll never forget...
That Time, too fleeting, I'll ever regret.
© Connie Marcum Wong
“This is the last major battle that Kamehameha fought. This united all of the islands other than Kaua‘i, and, from this point on, for the next 20-some odd years, there was peace, other than the preparation for the battle of Kaua‘i.” Kaua‘i ceded its sovereignty peacefully to Kamehameha in 1806, without that battle ever occurring.
Copyright © Connie Marcum Wong | Year Posted 2017
Teddy lives in a world of strife,
Where fight for existence is stiff.
He writes poems that show his daily struggle,
As he tries to understand why there’s no mingle
Between different tribes and clans;
God, well maybe has better plans
His eyes are black, and his skin brown,
Like the Mother Earth he has grown.
Poverty and corruption is the norm,
As crime gangs day to day always form
His world I say, is so different from mine
Jan tries hard to make folks smile
Forget their troubles for a while
She writes poems that may make you weep
Other poems she pens you may wish to keep
Her eyes are green, her hair is titian -
The color’s out a bottle - that grey CAN be beaten
She lives on a little Island surrounded by the sea
where the air is fresh and there's no poverty
Unemployment is low, there is little crime
Her world is so very different from mine
We share a love;
A love for letters, words,
Knit together to create a deep message
That forever echoes deep within our souls.
Difference in race, nationality and ideology
Are all fused together in rhythm and sonnets,
Making us citizens of the world,
Enjoying the anarchy of love.
We are miles apart across the sea
But we share a love called poetry.
Copyright © Teddy Kimathi | Year Posted 2017
What does it look like
From over there
Describe the sights
No details spared
How does it taste
Is it always delicious
By the look on your face
I’m a bit suspicious
I happen to be
Opposite to you
On the humanity tree
Like yellow and blue
I imagine your half
An enlightened bunch
No need for math
Just an arrogant hunch
It seems quite ironic
To say the least
That, in fact, you’re ignorant
Yet too smart to see
Copyright © Anna Hopper | Year Posted 2018
Fear is what they clothe them in.
Fear of losing their life because of one mistake.
Fear of losing their life because an officer is having
a bad day.
Some say it's not racism;
"It's police brutality."
Whatever you call it, I can't
help but ask "where is humanity?"
Mothers weeping because they're losing their sons.
Teaching them to fight back with silence
but that is no weapon compared to a gun.
Six feet under, leaving families to fight for justice
over their lives.
Societies getting tired of it all-
starting riots and constructing strikes.
How many more time will history repeat itself?
Or are we still writing [his]tory , using coverups
All lives matter despite of their race.
All lives matter despite their mistakes.
In times such as these justice will demand to be served.
No matter how chaotic, crazy, or obscured.
Life is a gift, one that we should all treasure.
Because all lives matter and we need to protect them;
no matter the measure.
Copyright © Amber Binford | Year Posted 2014
"Mi primo" means my cousin in Spanish.
He calls me his "primita"- little cousin.
This is the story of how mi primo
Taught me about the meaning of bread;
Of the meaning of tortillas...
He and I are exchanging languages
Over Dairy Queen chicken strips;
I repeat the words he teaches me
Back to him in my all-american
White girl accent,
Trying to learn how to Salsa
With a tongue that only knows
How to stumble over the trills
And rapid-fire hot-sauce syllables-
He makes me say them again and
Again until I sound like a distorted
Calle 13 track on repeat...
Mi primo offers me the bread
That came with his meal;
I ask him why he doesn't want it.
He says he doesn't eat bread;
He is Hispanic; he eats tortillas-
Do I know tortillas?-
He gestures, indicates the
Flat, full moon-shaped
Circle of a torilla with his hands.
Si, I know tortillas.
What I want to know is-
What the heck do tortillas have to do
With whether you eat bread or not?
So mi primo tells me una historia
About a guy he knows,
20-something and something else...
All his family came from Guatemala;
He was brought up going to a church
With a pastor that preached sermons
That trilled like heavenly trumpets;
He has skin that was colored warm
As if he had grown up kissed by
The sun of his family's homeland;
He knew how to speak English but
His mother tongue was always Spanish-
His cousins were his best friends
Because being "un Guate" means
Knowing the meaning of "la familia"...
He learned at age 21
That he was born in America.
Eagerly, he shed his Hispanicness like
A snake skin that had grown too tight,
Clutching at the revelation of his birthplace
Like a get-out-of-jail free card,
Hides the color of his face behind
The red, white, and blue of his
He doesn't go to church anymore,
Because American guys don't
Have time for God;
He buys big, fancy cars he doesn't have
A prayer of paying off because
American girls are supposed to like
That kind of thing;
He tries not to remember
The meaning of la familia...
And he always eats bread-
His tongue has suddenly turned
Too American to abide the taste,
The flatness, of las tortillas...
He is the reason that mi primo cannot
Abide the taste of bread, too thick
With the flavor of betrayed heritage
To sit easy in his stomach...
Mi primo offers me,
His little blonde all-American cousin,
The bread he doesn't want.
I wonder if one day he'll
Mean the word "primita" enough
To offer me a tortilla.
Copyright © Cameron Hartley | Year Posted 2014