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Field Poem, By Gary Soto

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When the foreman whistled

My brother and I

Shouldered our hoes,

Leaving the field.

We returned to the bus

Speaking

In broken English, in broken Spanish

The restaurant food,

The tickets to a dance

We wouldn’t buy with our pay.

From the smashed bus window,

I saw the leaves of cotton plants

Like small hands waving good-bye.

From “New and Selected Poems” by Gary Soto (Chronicle Books: 180 pp., $12.95 paper)


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