Doña Josefina Counsels Doña Concepción Before Entering Sears

By Maurice Kilwein Guevara b. 1961
Conchita debemos to speak totalmente in English
cuando we go into Sears okay      Por qué
Porque didn’t you hear lo que pasó      It say
on the eleven o’clock news anoche que two robbers
was caught in Sears and now this is the part
I’m not completely segura que I got everything
porque channel 2 tiene tú sabes that big fat guy
that’s hard to understand porque his nose sit on his lip
like a elefante pues the point es que the robbers the police say
was two young men pretty big y one have a hairy face
and the other is calvo that’s right he’s baldy and okay
believe me qué barbaridad porque Hairy Face
and Mister Baldy goes right into the underwear department
takes all the money from the caja yeah uh-huh the cash register
and mira Mister Baldy goes to this poor Italian woman that I
guess would be like us sixty o sixty-five who is in the section   
of the back-support brassieres and he makes her put a big bra
over her head para que she can’t see nothing and kneel
like she’s talking to God to save her poor life
and other things horrible pero the point como dije
es que there was two of them and both was speaking Spanish
y por eso is a good thing Conchita so the people at Sears
don’t confuse us with Hairy and Baldy that we speak English only
okay ready
                Oh what a nice day to be aquí en Sears Miss Conception

“Dona Josefina Counsels Dona Concepcion Before Entering Sears” from Poems of the River Spirit, by Maurice Kilwein Guevara, © 1996. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Used by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Source: Poems of the River Spirit (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996)

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Poet Maurice Kilwein Guevara b. 1961

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Crime & Punishment, Class, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture, Race & Ethnicity

 Maurice Kilwein Guevara


Poet, playwright, and actor Maurice Kilwein Guevara was born in Belencito, Colombia, and raised in Pittsburgh. He earned a BA in English and a BS in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, an MFA from Bowling Green State University, and a PhD in English and comparative literature from the University of Wisconsin. Kilwein Guevara’s poems often use overlapping voices and languages to explore the tensions and simultaneities . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Crime & Punishment, Class, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture, Race & Ethnicity

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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