Homage to the Valley Palms
   by Carol Coffee Reposa Carol Coffee Reposa

The poems, reviews, and essays of Carol Coffee Reposa have appeared or are forthcoming in The Atlanta Review, The Evansville Review, The Texas Observer, Southwestern American Literature, The Valparaiso Review, and other journals and anthologies. Author of four books of poetry—At the Border: Winter Lights, The Green Room, Facts of Life, and Underground Musicians—Reposa was a finalist in The Malahat Review Long Poem Contest (1988), winner of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Poetry Contest (1992), and a winner of the San Antonio Public Library Arts & Letters Award (2015). She has received three Pushcart Prize nominations, along with three Fulbright-Hays Fellowships for study in Russia, Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico and twice has made the short list for Texas Poet Laureate. Named professor emerita of English at San Antonio College in 2010, she now serves as poetry editor of Voices de la Luna.

They sway
Along the Interstate
In their endless rumba,
Ten thousand showgirls
In outrageous hats,
Those bobbing green plumes.

At the coast they high-kick
In leggy legions to the beat
Of waves, toddlers shrieking
And dogs barking rapturously
In salt spray, wind surfers
And kites above them,
Teens showing off bikinis.

Inland, they stage production numbers
Day and night, chorus lines
Everywhere, at hospitals
And banks, strip centers
And parking lots,
Irrigation ditches and fields.
They see it all:

Dizzy spinach and bouncing cabbages,
Sugarcane and grapefruit
Glowing in their trees,
Drug-sniffing dogs at the border,
A deal going down
In an alley,
First Communions and Last Rites.

North of Edinburg
The show winds down. At Encino
I think they’ve taken
Their last bow, but in Alice
One straggler throws me
A boa. I make a one-hand catch.

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