That’s Artemio leaning against
the back bumper of a 1954 Chevy
holding his toy Indy racecar.
He was six in that black & white photo,
wearing only shorts, no shirt, barefoot,
he would not wear shoes
until he started first grade
at the ripe old age of ten,
Why do you think he’s illiterate?
Uses too many commas,
doesn’t know when to use
that and which.
That’s Artemio before he realized
he would grow up to be Chicano,
before he realized he’d become a poet.
The ’54 Chevy is parked in front
of his maternal grandmother’s house on Hidalgo St.,
the crooked little house still stands there today,
straighter than the slouching,
hunchbacked, and deteriorating Artemio.
But, who would believe Chevy was vulnerable?