"Mother and Father"
by Armando Soto

Julia Soto Lebentritt

Mother and Father

They found their spring
and squatted;
70 years in the same city.
I return there now
expecting flowers
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.

Switched-on Gutenberg
Thematic Contents / Vol. 2, No. 2
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