by Carlos Carreon (June 2023)
Two Old Pecan Trees, Frank Nelson Wilcox, 1932
Pecan trees shade sidewalk
branches tap one another
in marigold morning
clack slapping pecans fall
from their pungent, split dry pods
bounce onto sprigs of grass, tall as aloe vera,
onto garden hosed wet pavement,
onto muddy loose gravel
neighbor from around corner
picks up handfuls
packs them into pale pink nylon costales,
into empty pockets
He steps into dry weed rose bush bed
where nuts lay under thorns
like a nest of brown spotted house-finch eggs
disregarding yard sign
———No Recoja Nueces
Why is there a sign?
Hand painted sign, dripping letters
like on a mourning widow’s cheek
La viejita who lives in this
paint flaking house is crazy
Señal ridícula: una cosecha tan abundante
que ruega ser compartida
Ridiculous sign—such bountiful crop
begging to be shared
Besides, what is an old woman
going to do with all these nuts?
Pulling loaded wagon
I’m doing her a favor
She can’t bend over
She can’t mow her lawn,
ni puede mantener un jardín
Ella es buena con la manguera
She’s good at using garden hose.
And off he goes.
———In late afternoon
———After reciting rosary prayers
———Our Fathers, Hail Marys and
———a Por la señal de la Santa Cruz.
Jovita—Dueña de la casita
squeezes through doorway
wicker basket between waist and forearm
Lavender floral terry cloth slippers
She moves slowly under ramas.
Searches her yard, her garden,
her sidewalk, the street in front of her home.
Shrugs, surrenders to stolen crop
heads back to house
Beneath fluttering paper
are seven pecans.
Gathering them with cupped hands,
hands brown and spotted as shell,
hands deeply creased as seed,
inhales their earthy scent
Smiling—both upper front teeth missing
pushes tongue out like a toothless baby.
Lifting pecans to forehead
Jovita whispers “Gracias a Dios.”
Carlos Carreon is a poet and short story writer. He has been featured several times in the Tejano Conjunto Festival program magazine and an anthology of short stories by Gemini Ink. He is a member of Voces Cósmicas poetry group and the San Antonio Writers Guild.
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