Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Dad’s Uncle Wore a Zoot Suit

“He dressed,” my dad said,
“in silk threads of black and red,

his pants hung down his legs
wide and tightly cuffed,

a gold chain slung from his high waist
securly tucked into the pocket of his trousers.

He wore a coat, a long black drape,
accented with wide lapels,

His hat with a wide brim
had a brightly colored band

then a pencil thin mustache
just above his upper lip.

He was dressed to go out on the town,
to dance with the local girls

and bust up a few faces of sailors
who disrespected him.

Those strangers didn't respect
this don of Spanish history

from the line of explorers and conquistadors,
now ruler in his barrio,

flush in the rich heritage
of family traditions and sweet serenades.

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