San Onofre, California by Carolyn Forche

We have come far south.
Beyond here, the oldest women
shelling limas into black shawls.
Portillo scratching his name
on the walls, the slender ribbons
of piss, children patting the mud.
If we go on, we might stop
in the street in the very place
where someone disappeared
and the words Come with us! we might
hear them. If that happened, we would
lead our lives with our hands
tied together. That is why we feel
it is enough to listen
to the wind jostling lemons,
to dogs ticking across the terraces,
knowing that while birds and warmer weather
are forever moving north,
the cries of those who vanish
might take years to get here.

4 thoughts on “San Onofre, California by Carolyn Forche

    • We were at Bowling Green Univ at the same time in the MFA program but she was in poetry and I was in fiction so our paths didn’t cross much. I have always, though, admired he r work and have a few books of hers in storage with so many others back in NY.

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