The Outdoor Poet: Adela Najarro

The Boy

The sea knocks the boy down. The boy
punches white wave foam, kicks icy water.

When the sea returns, a bigger surging wave.
The boy grips his black boogie board,

heralds the gods with a ninja scream, and floats
over the beckoning curl. The boy rages.

He rages against the sea. This time he wins.


The next time. He rages against me.
Bloodshot eyes from too much

of the sea. Boogie boarding all afternoon.
I wasn’t there. He was raging

his own time. Tasting salt. Fettering grains
of sand under a wetsuit. It was

all him. I was doing
other things. The boy rages against

going to sleep. I say, “I’m the adult.
You must do what I say.”


Really. I mean. Truly. It is.
This little boy. In a bed. In a

guest room. When I try to explain.
He understands. Too much.

Too much about how the moon pulls
the human heart and when tides rise too high

all is torn asunder. He holds his breath tight
and rages against the moon at midnight,

against a boogie board cracked in two,
against a father who won’t be coming back.

What to Tell a New Lover About an Old One

Nothing. And here are reasons not to:
a wasp carries a green leaf then burrows

behind shingles warm from a trailing sun;
white flowers blossom next to lemons

heavy on disparate branches; the opaque
depth of the sea is unfathomable, yet

remains steel blue, cold, permeable
and beckoning the unknown; all wait.

And more. Perhaps to walk past. There may
be pine cones, sand dollars, birds dancing

on one leg. The day may end in the moon,
while the moon blows past stars and sky

into morning. Sometimes
between a shadow and grace lies uncertainty.

We just have to hold on for one wild ride,
and hope we don’t say too much.

About The Writer Adela Najarro is a member of the board of directors for Poetry Santa Cruz and teaches in the Cabrillo College English Department where she co-coordinates the Puente Project. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and can be found in the University of Arizona Press anthology The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry.

The Outdoor Poet is edited by Robert Sward, author of numerous books of poetry including, most recently, New and Selected Poems: 1957-2011 (Red Hen Press). He lives on the Westside with his wife, the artist Gloria Alford, and a poodle mix named Cosette. Participation in The Outdoor Poet is by invitation.

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