Ocean Beach Park 2

gonzales-lg

Poetry box by Ana Flores

That Last Summer
by Jose B. Gonzalez

my family hanging on to El Salvador time,
summer mornings my father would strip off our
bed sheets at six O’clock, wanting to avoid
losing out on one of Ocean Beach Park’s picnic tables,
so much was right then.

I swam in slacks that had been cut unevenly into shorts. My
father’s red arms, refusing to put on any sunscreen,
challenged the sun to a duel. My mother would overheat
in the flowers of her polyester blouse. My sister would lose
a sandal in the water and limp through splinters. And my
little brother would eat sand as if it had come out of a piñata.

lost inside all the comedy of our summer tragedies,
we would take for granted the heaven of listening
to Toña La Negra’s tunes as we chewed chicken legs
and ate potato salad, gathering near the waves for the last time
before I would go off to college, my sister would
move away from home, my little brother would stop
playing hide and go seek, my father would learn
of fruits and tumors and the ocean’s currents
would creep closer and closer to my mother’s footsteps.

Poem by Jose B. Gonzalez has published poetry in various anthologies and journals including, Callaloo, Palabra, and the Quercus Review, and he has been a contributor to National Public Radio. An award-winning educator and poet, he has been a featured speaker at colleges and universities throughout the country, is the co-editor of Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature and LatinoStories.com, and his first poetry collection has been published by Bilingual Press toward. He lives in Quaker Hill, CT.
Poetry box by Ana Flores a sculptor, ecological designer, curator, and activist. Her sculptural work focusing on cultural and ecological narratives is shown internationally and included in private, corporate and institutional collections throughout the United States and abroad. For almost two decades she has been promoting interdisciplinary dialogue and groundbreaking collaborations between the arts and sciences. She has worked with communities to design award-winning outdoor installations, parks, and programming that engage people with the cultural and natural history of their local landscapes. Flores developed Poetry of the Wild in 2003 while she was an artist in residence at the Wood River Watershed Association. The project has been traveling throughout the United States for a decade now.

Flores has been invited as a visiting artist and lecturer throughout North America, Canada, Great Britain, and New Zealand. She has also taught for many years, at the Rhode Island School of Design she created numerous community-centered courses focused on the environment and healing. She maintains a studio in Rhode Island and Nova Scotia, Canada, for more on her work visit: earthinform.com