Santa Anas


If my people sow filthiness
they shall reap the east wind,
which bringeth immediate destruction.

          —Mosiah 7:31

My father’s people
came from the East.
The natives were us kids,
Mom, and my aunt.

Pasadena was first
The Indiana Colony—
then everybody came,
mainly in a hurry

to pull up orange groves,
plant houses, and smear
freeways across the face
of postcard towns.

Most every year big
winds would blow from
the Mojave—ripping tiles
off roofs, toppling

trees and tractor-trailers,
fanning fires across the
flanks of the San Gabriels—
it could make you wonder

what you were doing here,
if your roots would hold.
(It was like being followed.)
Almost everything bad or

good came from the East,
I guess partly because
there wasn’t much
West left to be from.


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