Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Oranges by Gary Soto

The first time i walked
With a girl, i was twelve,
Cold, and weighed down
With two oranges in my jacket.
December.Frost cracking
Beneath my steps,my breath
Before me, then gone,
As i walked toward
Her house,one whose
Porch light burned yellow
Night and day,in any weather.
A dog barked at me,until
She came out pulling
At her gloves, face bright
With rouge. I smiled,
Touched her shoulder, and led
Her down the street, across
A used car lot and a line
Of newly planted trees,
Until we were breathing
Before a drogstore.We
Entered, the tiny bell
Bringing a saleslady
Down a narrow aisle of goods.
I turned to the candies
Tiered like bleachers,
And i asked what she wanted
Light in her eyes, a smile
Starting at the corners
Of her mouth.I fingered
A nickel in my pocket,
And when she lifted a chocolate
That cost a dime,
I didn't say anything.
I took the nickel from
My pocket, then an orange,
And set them quietly on
The counter. When i looked up,
The lady's eyes met mine,
And held them, knowing
Very well what it was all


A few cars hissing past,
Fog hanging like old
Coats between the trees.
I took my girl's hand
In mine for two blocks,
Then released it to let
Her unwrap the chocolate.
I peeled my orange
That was so bright against
The gray of December
That, from some distance,
Someone might have thought
I was making a fire in my hands.