Everyone Has a House

By Kate Gale Kate Gale
What I like about your country
she tells me is the toilets
I wouldn’t mind bringing one home
but it wouldn’t do much good
she says she likes the bathtubs
and the refrigerators
but she is not so crazy
about the tortillas
which are not made properly
or the cilantro which tastes like soap
Also the freeways ruin the landscape
and the children watch television
when they could be playing soccer
and the teenagers stare at their parents
with bare faces that say
give it to me
and the abuelitos are like dogs
to the children
the children walk by with no respect
mangoes here are not so good
not enough rain
and the women here have so many clothes
I think your country has the most wonderful bathrooms
and everyone has a house
although tents would be nicer
I think or boats
or even just sleeping in a tree
My family has a tree
we live under
but the tree has no toilet
I grant you that.

Kate Gale, “Everyone Has a House” from Fishers of Men. Copyright © 2000 by Kate Gale. Reprinted by permission of Red Hen Press.

Source: Fishers of Men (Red Hen Press, 2000)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Kate Gale

Subjects Activities, Travels & Journeys, Social Commentaries, Money & Economics, Class

 Kate  Gale

Biography

Kate Gale is the author of several poetry collections, including Mating Season (2004) and Fishers of Men (2000), as well as the novels Lake of Fire (2000) and Water Moccasins (1994). She is the founder and managing editor of Red Hen Press and editor of the Los Angeles Review.

Gale is the author of four librettos: Rio de Sangre with composer Don Davis which was performed in part at Disney Hall in 2005; Paradises Lost, . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Activities, Travels & Journeys, Social Commentaries, Money & Economics, Class

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.