Gary Soto 1981
Mexicans Begin Jogging


At the factory I worked

In the fleck of rubber, under the press

Of an oven yellow with flame,

Until the border patrol opened

Their vans and my boss waved for us to run.                                                                       5

"Over the fence, Soto," he shouted,

And I shouted that I was an American.

"No time for lies," he said, and passes

A dollar in my palm, hurrying me

Through the back door.                                                                                                       10

Since I was on his time, I ran

And became the wag to a short tail of Mexicans--

Ran past the amazed crowds that lined

The street and blurred like photographs, in rain.

I ran from that industrial road to the soft                                                                            15

Houses where people paled at the turn of an autumn sky.

What could I do but yell vivas

To baseball, milkshakes, and those sociologists

Who would clock me

As I jog into the next century

On the power of a great, silly grin.                                                                                     20

 

 

REPRINTED FROM PAGE 143 OF READING LITERATURE AND WRITING ARGUMENT, 2nd ED . EDS. MISSY JAMES AND ALAN P. MERICKEL. PRINTED BY PRENTIS HALL IN UPPER SADDLE RIVER, NJ. (2004)