Gary Soto has written a lot, kid books, teen books, picture books, and yes poetry. Really good poetry. In fact some of my favorite poetry.
Neighborhood Odes is a collection of poems Soto wrote to celebrate growing up and all the wonderful things experienced, like sprinklers, fireworks, weddings, and of course, libraries.
My favorite is “Ode to Family Photographs.”
This is the pond, and these are my feet.
This is the rooster, and this is more of my feet.
Mamá was never good at pictures.
This is a statue of a famous general who lost an arm,
And this is me with my head cut off.
This is a trash can chained to a gate,
This is my father with his eyes half-closed.
This is a photograph of my sister
And a giraffe looking over her shoulder.
This is our car’s front bumper.
This is a bird with a pretzel in its beak.
This in my brother Pedro standing on one leg on a rock,
With a smear of chocolate on his face.
Mamá sneezed when she looked
Behind the camera: the snapshots are blurry,
The angles dizzy as a spin on a merry-ro-round.
But we had fun when Mamá picked up the camera.
How can I tell?
Each of us laughing hard.
Can you see? I have candy in my mouth.