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Fences

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Mouths full of laughter,
the turistas come to the tall hotel
with suitcases full of dollars.

Every morning my brother makes
the cool beach new for them.
With a wooden board he smooths
away all footprints.

I peek through the cactus fence
and watch the women rub oil
sweeter than honey into their arms and legs
while their children jump waves
or sip drinks from long straws,
coconut white, mango yellow.

Once my little sister
ran barefoot across the hot sand
for a taste.

My mother roared like the ocean,
“No. No. It’s their beach.
It’s their beach.”


Poem copyright ©1991 by Pat Mora, whose most recent book of poetry is “Adobe Odes,” University of Arizona Press, 2007. Poem reprinted from “Communion,” Arte Publico Press, University of Houston, 1991, by permission of the writer and publisher.
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Fences

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  • Born in El Paso, Texas,  poet, writer, former teacher, university administrator, museum director, and consultant, Pat Mora is a popular national speaker who promotes creativity, inclusivity and bookjoy. She is the author of many books of poetry and children's books. Her book, House of Houses (2008), is a family memoir told in the voices of ancestors. Her newest book of nonfiction is Zing! Seven Creativity Practices for Educators and Students (2010).

    Among her awards are honorary doctorates from North Carolina State University and SUNY Buffalo, an honorary membership in the American Library Association, a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship to write in Umbria, Italy, and a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Texas at El Paso. She was a recipient and judge of a Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a recipient and advisor of the Kellogg National Leadership Fellowships.

    Mora and her husband live in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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