October 7, 2021

Gil Arzola

CHILDHOOD HOMES

Where the bushes are now a house once was.
See there—where branches are twisted together like skinny
arms hugging air? You’d think it was one thing instead of two
until you look closer and follow to its roots.
Right there—where the branches
are highest there was a window and
a boy looking out.

My life is passing. The snow melts.
In another day it will become water and disappear
into the ground.
Over there—across the field you can count
one, two, maybe three trees I used to climb.
Walk there—
And you can ask each blade of grass on the way
to tell you my name.

from The Death of a Migrant Worker
2021 Rattle Chapbook Prize Winner

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Gil Arzola: “The Death of a Migrant Worker is a gift and monument of words to my parents. It is a way of saying ‘these people passed through this way’ and here’s what they did.”

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