Guest Poet: Lucy Umbarger Elementary
This is Trump country I say to myself,
turning right on Rio Vista, left on Skagit
into a muddy parking lot. These
must be the ones who are angry
the teachers have placed a sign on every door,
puerto. Because a notebook is a cuaderno,
a nurse an enfermado. The teachers
are mostly white, but everywhere
there’s encouragement: You got this, sister.
Take this moment to remind yourself
you’re awesome, everywhere salmon
heading upstream, bulletin boards
plastered with A+ papers and tests.
In Mrs. Agosto’s fifth grade class,
the children write odes to artichokes
and avocados, an increasingly-bruised
banana. Madeline calls me over to her group:
Can I have this yam, like, to eat? How do you
cook it? On a stove? Words unloading
from her mouth like cases of canned goods
at the food bank: We’re living in our car I’m
hungry we have no money can I have it.
Red carrot, she had written. Elf hat. Viking’s horn.
It is as if you came from an underground universe.
It was a fat worm, orange poop, unicorn horn,
but mostly, Mr. President, it was food.
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