Tag Archives: Visalia

BLOND ON BLOND

 

 

Taking the cows home
a week after weaning
snakes easily over the saddle
and down to the water
of collected dreams.

I remember yellow
Euclid trucks dumping
layers of native pasture
armored with rock
across the river in ’59,

flooding shoreline picnics
and ground squirrels targets
where the Wukchumne camped—
where Loren Fredricks
never learned to swim

afraid of the three-foot carp,
sun-dried, he had to ride upon
in a horse-drawn cart
up Dry Creek to Eshom
before he became a cowboy.

Snow stacked high
on the Kaweahs, we held
the water back when Visalia
was a town, spread the city out
with no water in the ground.

               Blond cowgirl
               on a palomino
               in the wild oats
               above black cows
               and Lake Kaweah—

taking them home
a week after weaning
snakes easily over the saddle
and down to the water
of our collected dreams.

 

ESTRADA’S SPANISH KITCHEN

 

I have no reason to wake up hungry,
but how I miss Estrada’s dark-red
enchilada sauce on my tongue,
macaroni, stuffed rellenos, sizzling
tostada compuestas with chile
con caso, beans and rice—

or all you could eat prime rib
at the Red Barn, south of town—
thick slabs sliced from half a cow,
bloody juice pooled and running
right before your appetite—kids
well-fed at two bucks a head

for hard-working families
out on the town. Visalia was
the place to eat well before
it wanted to be like everywhere else—
before the fast-food similes
from the cities it escaped.