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Published July 20, 2007

Selected Poems by Aracelis Girmay
SANTA ANA OF GROCERY CARTS

Santa Ana of grocery carts, truckers,
eggs in the kitchen at 4 am, nurses, cleaning ladies,
the saints of ironing, the saints
of tortillas. Santa Ana of cross-guards, tomato pickers,
bakeries of bread in pinks & yellows, sugars.
Santa Ana of Cambodia, Viet Nam, Aztlán
down Bristol & Raitt. Santa Ana.
Boulevards of red lips, beauty salons, boomboxes, drone
of barber shop clippers fading tall Vincent's head, schoolyards,
the workshop architects, mechanics.
Santa Ana of mothers, radiators, trains.
Santa Ana of barbecues.
Santa Ana of Trujillos, Sampsons, & Agustíns,
Zuly & Xochit with their twin lampish skins.
Santa Ana of cholas, bangs, & spray.
Santa Ana of AquaNet, altars,
the glitter & shine
of 99 cent stores, taco trocas, churches, of bells,
hallelujahs & center fields, aprons,
of winds, collard greens, & lemon cake
in Ms. Davenport's kitchen,
sweat, sweat over the stove. Santa Ana
of polka-dots, chicharonnes, Aztecs, African Fields, colombianas,
sun's children, vanished children. Santa Ana of orales.
Santa Ana of hairnets.
Patron saint of kitchens, asphalt, banana trees,
bless us if you are capable of blessing.

When we started, there were cousins & two parents,
now everything lost has been to you.
The house, axed, & opossums
gone. Abrigette & her husband John.
& the schoolyard boys underneath the ground,
undressed so thoroughly by your thousand mouths, Santa Ana,

let that be
enough.

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Bill Moyers talks with poet Martin Espada about the power of words to effect social change.

>Watch teacher and poet, Aracelis Girmay, read her poem.

VIEWER MAIL
Bill Moyers responds to your comments, questions and suggestions.

>Have your own question and comment for Bill Moyers? Join the conversation on the Blog.
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