El Tigre Market

By Juan Delgado b. 1960 Juan Delgado
As apparent as the rest, the asphalt cracks
are crowded with yellow weeds, the rust goes
beyond its bleeding color, and the lot's rails,
battered by cars, cast larger bars by noon.
On one side of the market someone painted
a row of flower pots, hanging geraniums
for the locals who must now go across town.
As apparent as the rest, El Tigre walks upright,
wears a tiny sombrero and sarape, and pushes
a grocery cart full of food. His painted stripes
are starting to flake like the bounty he wheels
for the families drifting into the parking lot
off 3rd Street and next to the train station
still waiting to the retrofitted for the big one.

Juan Delgado, "El Tigre Market" from Vital Signs. Copyright © 2013 by Juan Delgado.  Reprinted by permission of Heyday Books.

Source: Vital Signs (Heyday Books, 2013)

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Poet Juan Delgado b. 1960

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Living, Time & Brevity, Arts & Sciences, Painting & Sculpture, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life, Class, Race & Ethnicity

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Biography

Mexican American poet Juan Delgado first started coming to the United States with his family when he was a child. He attended California State University, San Bernardino, where he studied accounting before discovering writing and majoring in English. He earned an MFA from the University of California, Irvine, where he was a Regents Fellow. Delgado’s collections of poetry are Green Web (1994), selected by poet Dara Weir for the . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Time & Brevity, Arts & Sciences, Painting & Sculpture, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life, Class, Race & Ethnicity

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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