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Monday, September 19, 2011


I bought my dad a case of strawberries
from a young man on the side of the road
whose skin was as dark as the earth
he worked on. I hand them to my father.
He sets the red fruit down on the table and stares.

He holds out his hands, wrinkled and calloused,
how they used to scoop up strawberries he says
how he used those hands to carry them home,
make licuados and salads. How we used to eat them
every day with sugar or chocolate or just plain.

How that might be the only thing we ate for dinner
or lunch or breakfast. He would steal them
and sell them door to door in the neighborhood
to buy tortillas and a gallon of milk.

How he watched the sun rise every morning
and watched it work its way across the sky
like him across the fields those first years in Oxnard.
He can't eat strawberries anymore
because the taste and smell just hurts too much.

David Campos
American Poetry Review, September/October 2011 (Volume 40/No. 5)

David Campos was born in Ventura, CA in 1984. He graduated from Fresno High School and continued his education through Fresno Community College before finishing with a degree in English at California State University at Fresno. He has worked as a cashier at a meat market, pizza delivery driver and now delivers medication for a pharmacy. His poem appears in In the Grove and The Packinghouse Review, among others.


David Campos said...

I like this poem.

Martha Silano said...

Hi David,

Glad to make your acquaintance. My students loved reading and explicating this poem in English 101 during fall quarter. I know you are in touch with at least one of my students--she and her group did a fantastic powerpoint explaining what they learned by reading your poem. Thanks for writing it! It fit perfectly with my food sustainability-themed course.