Where I Used to Walk

By Juan Felipe HerreraJuly 18, 2016

Where I Used to Walk
(photo above: Kevin Andrew Woolsey)
(photo left: City Lights)



Where I Used to Walk

— for the officers killed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
those injured & their families



where I used to walk
my yellow dog gone the one dove on the lamp above
police slaughtered (once again this time a Sunday)
U & i
move above the concrete wind wind
here we sit by ancient trees fenced against the blaze
between the slabs the green-blue tendrils seek
light (where is it)— the stuff U & i throw away

long gun
polished before dawn one eyed
takes aim takes it we are left
remain steady remain waving
under the shifting clouds

they did not go home on Sunday
they did not go home on Sunday
time timelove (where is it what is it
can it be attained)


— Juan Felipe Herrera
July 17, 2016

LARB Contributor

Born in Fowler, California — learned corridos and rhymes from his mother, Lucha, on the farm working roads and small towns. His father, Felipe, played harmonica telling tales of work in early 1900’s Wyoming. He graduated from UCLA, Stanford and the University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop. His awards include the Guggenheim Poetry Fellowship, the National Book Critic’s Circle Award, LA Times  Robert Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award and recently, the International Latino Book Award. He is Emeritus Professor from Fresno State’s Chicano and Latin American Studies program and UC-Riverside’s Department of Creative Writing. In the last decade he has served as a Chancellor of the Board of the Academy of American Poets, California’s Poet Laureate, and the Poet Laureate of the United States. Recent book is Every Day We Get More Illegal.


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