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Friday, December 16, 2005


by Fran Davis

That would be past the broccoli fields
where sprinklers throw blue mist
a blue repeated in the eucalyptus
planted to stall the valley wind

In the Salinas
the wind blows always
funneling from the cool wide mouth
of Monterey
to scour the warm flanks
of the Santa Lucias

There’s no reason for these houses
after Chualar
Amigo’s market – carnitas –
after the correctional facility
with its cyclone fence and razor wire
flying banners of thin plastic
like skin pulled from a sunburn

Front Street the exit calls
the homes named after wine
form a sullen cluster
roofs like sharp gray scabs
patch unbending hills
that couldn’t love a vine or grape
what long-distance people
wished these houses here
to squat at the talon feet
of the Gabilans?

Fran Davis’s stories, essays and poems have appeared in Calyx, The Chattahoochee Review, The Vincent Brothers Review, Reed Magazine, Passager, Quercus Review and several anthologies. She is a winner of the Lamar York prize for non-fiction and a Pushcart Prize nominee.