Poetry Writing Contest XII, First Place (2001)
NEW MILLENNIUM AWARD FOR POETRY
“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
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
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.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
“For A Boy In A Bus Depot” © 2001 Eduardo Corral