A Poem For Saturday


"At Night" by Jimmy Santiago Baca:

I lie in bed
and hear the soft throb of water
surging through the ditch,
from extreme to extreme water bounds,
clumsy country boy,
stumbling over fallen water logs and rubber tires
to meet a lover
who awaits in her parents’ house, window open.

As I used to for love.

Now gray-black hair,
vigorous cheeks, weathered brow, chapped lips,
dismal thoughtful eyes,
I float in brown melancholy on the lazy currents
of memory, studying my reflection
on the water this night,
with distant devotion,
a swimmer who has forgotten how to swim.

(From Black Mesa Poems © 1989 by Jimmy Santiago Baca. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp. Photo by Flickr user Sweet Chi)