Sharing: “And Your Soul Shall Dance” by Garrett Kaoru Hongo


And Your Soul Shall Dance

 

Walking to school beside fields

of tomatoes and summer squash,

alone and humming a Japanese love song,

you’ve concealed a copy of Photoplay

between your algebra and English texts.

Your knee socks, saddle shoes, plaid dress,

and blouse, long-sleeved and white

with ruffles down the front,

come from a Sears catalogue

and neatly compliment your new Toni curls.

All of this sets you apart from the landscape:

flat valley grooved with irrigation ditches,

a tractor grinding through alkaline earth,

the short stands of windbreak eucalyptus

shuttering the desert wind

from a small cluster of wooden shacks

where your mother hangs the wash.

You want to go somewhere.

Somewhere far away from all that dust

and sorting machines and acres of lettuce.

Someplace where you might be kissed

by someone with smooth, artistic hands.

When you turn into the schoolyard,

the flagpole gleams like a knife blade in the sun,

and classmates scatter like chickens,

shooed by the storm brooding on your horizon.

 

Garrett Kaoru Hongo (1982, p.69)

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2 thoughts on “Sharing: “And Your Soul Shall Dance” by Garrett Kaoru Hongo

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