rio grande

photo by David Lund

The crop duster

sprinkles loving


confusing me,

losing me among

small towns (Pleasanton)

and officers


burned beyond recognition,

awarding me w/a ticket for

my troubles,

I see the charred

slivers of flesh peel away

from yellowed teeth

that ask me:

 “-where ya comin’ from?

-where ya goin’?

-is this your car?”

 I doggedly trail

my bug duster


more backwards hamlets,

searching feverishly along

roads that stretch

scrub brush and sage bush

from blue-haze


to cloud-covered



Duster lets me finally

discover my

McAllen connection,

Joey, Tina and I break bread

and inhale American Standard coffee

by palm trees

and a bookstore

discussing wayward poets,

Joey’s Review

and Tina’s Dilemma.



I check into

a motel that has

aged and echoed

since ’59

w/senior citizens

who scowl at foreigners;

a classy joint.

The clerk

asks in the usual

anal retentive sneer:          

“-how many nights?

-who will be joining you?

-do you own a CAR?”

I sleep w/sweaty dreams

of bug-juice

and charred lips

waking in a rush

to take my leave

of Valley life.


I pick up the smell

of bug-poison once again

and border patrol agents

promptly pull me over,

one w/cheeks

scarred and pock-marked

like a road map, eyes glazed

from the heat asks:

“-where ya comin’ from?

¿Habla espanol?

-where ya goin’?


And I’m not surprised

Senor Pock-mark

let the anglo family


as they drive their probable drug-filled

truck to more of America’s youth

while I wait patiently

for the drug-sniffing dog

to thoroughly

inspect my car,

finally giving his special

yellow-tinted seal of approval.


I get wise to her and ditch

my bug-dusting nemesis,

kiss the goddess, San Antonio,

And finally admit: “YES, IT IS MY CAR!”


Rod C. Stryker

This poem was originally published in my book, Exploits of a Sun Poet. The short film for the poem (see link above) was produced by PrimaDonna Productions.


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