Today is St. Patrick’s Day, but here in the Barrio
there’s little green to see—
green is the color of money
there’s precious little of that, here,
this being the world of Section 8 housing
and odd, dull-looking dogs with such powerful jaws
one simply moves to the other side of the street.
Nevertheless, there’s color:
there’s the red and blue of the triangular flag;
there’s the silver moon of the trashcan lid
and the gold of the real moon;
there’s the azure pulse of the congas;
there’s the yellow of the yellow cabs
speeding down avenue to the next light;
there’s the glint of Mars, so pink, and a share
of frantically blinking, left-over Christmas lights:
electrical ADD. But green, you go downtown for that,
amidst smiling youth, arms linked.
There, you’ll see green aplenty, seas of it—
in the subways, on the buses,
a sweater, here, a skirt, there, a scarf, a tam,
the furtive lining of a necktie.
But, here in the Barrio don’t look for it
or for that famous parade.
Green is the color of money—
there’s precious little of that, here.