SAMPLE POEM

Printer's Devil

 

 

It’s one or the other, says the owner

of American Printing. I can’t hire both.

 

But your ad said two, Tío reminds him.

Tío Genaro is a prize-winning pressman; my father

 

the best in Print Shop at Lanier High. It’s 1945—

war is over and there’s a bright gleam in these young

 

brown men’s eyes—you can see it, the starburst

of possibility that swirls in them. But the owner

 

tells my uncle—the elder, the fixer—just one ‘Pedro’;

I don’t want no trouble. As if together, my uncle, my father,

 

and every Chicano like them, might spill blood,

not ink. Might print feisty manifestos, instead

 

of hospital invoices. Might give new meaning

to “die-cut.” It is 1945 and radical acts are few

 

in San Antonio. Thank you, sir. My brother and I

will look elsewhere. Tío says this even though elsewhere

is not much better in that oddly peaceful year.

 

 

 

                                                    from Brazos, Carry Me

                                                         © Pablo Miguel Martínez, 2013

BUY A COPY RETURN TO BRAZOS, CARRY ME