Poetry Writing Contest XII, First Place (2001)


“For A Boy In A Bus Depot” by Eduardo Corral

Sometime ago my father bit into an apple then placed it on a window sill. For a moment it seemed a moth had settled on the apple. I remember picking up the apple and its weight brought back a memory of walking hand in hand with my father through a bus station. I knew I had the raw materials for a poem. But for a long time the poem wouldn’t surface through the blankness of the page. Over and over I kept focusing on the importance of my presence within the poem. I had to return to that moment when my imagination had altered a bite mark into a moth. I began to write from inside that moment. The poem surfaced. I was thankful but humbled by the poem’s simple lesson: Sometimes the imagination exposes you to a new world but leaves you at its doorstep. — Eduardo Corral

Corral will receive $1,000, a certificate to mark the success, and publication both online and in print.

For A Boy In A Bus Depot

By Eduardo Corral

For Rigoberto Gonzalez

Moonlight topples

from the star-cabled night

like the hankerchief

in the breast pocket of a Frenchman

reclining in a chair, his shoes

being polished by a boy

who, when asked, said, “Soy

Indio” to the French couple’s

question–perplexing news!

The wife’s pupils tighten.

Is this boy really Indian

instead of Spanish? A brief

shiver of disbelief

surges down the boy’s

spine when the Frenchman

leaves him a dime–enough for apples!

Which apples to choose? Bright

red, yellow, green–so many hues!

The valleys are blue,

the hills brown on the relief

map of Durango above the night

counter. The clerk waves to the boy

walking across the cobbles.

What rattles in this box? A can

of polish, oval brushes, a tan

leather strap to finely buff shoes?

A vendor wraps two apples

in a handkerchief.

The boy smiles as if buying a toy.

He buttons his jacket, the buttons, white,

cracked, remind him of the bright

phases of the moon. “A full moon can

transform,” the boy

whispers, “a bite mark (it’s true!)

on an apple into a moth briefly,

wings rimmed with the color of the apple.”


Eduardo Corral

“For A Boy In A Bus Depot” © 2001 Eduardo Corral

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