A Poet's Kiss

Albuquerque poet Mary Oishi puts poems, pictures, and thoughts here for her family and friends, and for lovers of poetry everywhere.

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States

Sunday, April 25, 2010


she stopped right in the middle
of the all-you-can-eat dnner
actually, she said, it's hard for me
to eat this stuff
knowing who picked it
how hard they worked
from sunup to sundown
and the way they live--
you just can't imagine
but mary, they do it gladly
just to send a few dollars back home, i know
if her father didn't hit me
i would have been out there
working that hard every day myself
with my baby and all
so actually i was the lucky one, in a way,
that he hit me
so me and my baby could
live in the shelter for women, you know?
but i saw how hard they worked
i saw them there around watsonville, salinas
out in the strawberry fields, the tomato fields
in the broiling sun, stooping and picking
as fast as they can

i'm not complaining
i'm glad to be here
to have this work cleaning houses
i work cleaning politician's big fancy houses all the time
they know i don't have my papers
but do you think they'll do a thing for me? no
still i'm glad to do it
do you know how it would be if
i was back in mexico?
i'd probably be by the side of the road somewhere
wondering how i'd get the next bit of food
to put in my mouth

here it's so much better for her
she can go to school
she can have a meal like this
yes, i'm glad to be here, to have this work

reagan, for all he did wrong, it was better for me then
now with this new sheriff
it could happen any time

after all these years
they'd ship me back
but she'd stay

you just never know
it could happen any time, mary

look at her
i'm all she has
what would she do?
i wonder, would we ever
see each other again...

mary oishi
23 april 2010

SHAME! SHAME! SHAME on Arizona!!!
Shame on us all.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Church of Beethoven performance on youtube

A 10+ minute video of a performance at the Church of Beethoven on January 17, 2010. Poems performed:

redemption song
fifty-three stations of tokaido
transforming scars to art

(link here)