"Mother and Father"
by Armando Soto
Julia Soto Lebentritt
Mother and Father
They found their spring
70 years in the same city.
I return there now
but in the kitchen
we sit like three fire hydrants
unable to open our valves.
Lacking violence needed
to cry in one another's arms,
we play pinochle.
I dream of them unhuddling at night,
twiddling little amputated arms
breaking roots and unbolting ties
to jig with each other;
my fat mother and squat father
pounding this concrete I am stuck in
with love for each other.
But they behave as if they made me
by not touching--
as distant as plugs
at the corners of Plum and Kinney,
Plum and Pawling.
I wish our house were on fire
so I could see them in action.
Copyright 1976, Julia Soto Lebentritt
Julia Soto Lebentritt, M.F.A., is a freelance writer and producer. Her articles and
audio-visual works showcase the oral histories of people in Vermont, Alaska, and
New York. Her writing awards include fellowships from the states of Connecticutt
and New York. She is a published poet and author of The Kooken (Henry Holt
and Company, 1992).
Armando Soto is a visual artist who has work permanently displayed in Lower
Manhattan and who is currently developing the Oral History Mural Project in Adult
Literacy Programs, N.Y.C.