“When I Was a Child” by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal


When I Was a Child

When I was a child
I had no need for tennis shoes.
I walked the unpaved 
roads of Zacatepec in sandals
sometimes barefoot and shirtless.

We ate small green mangos
from the neighbor’s trees
plucked sugarcane 
from passing trucks.
We had no need for money
to entertain ourselves.

Video games were not yet invented.
Shooting marbles was our game.
We played futbol in dusty fields
pretended to ride horses
on broomsticks.

Our black and white television
only had two channels.
I watched the Lone Ranger;
he spoke Spanish like me.


About the Author: Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal, born in Mexico, lives in California and works in the mental health field in Los Angeles. His first book of poems, Raw Materials, was published by Pygmy Forest Press. His poetry has been published by Alternating Current Press, Blue Collar Review, Counterpunch, Deadbeat Press, New Polish Beat, Poet’s Democracy, and Ten Pages Press. His latest chapbook, Make the Light Mine, was published by Kendra Steiner Editions.


Image Credit: “Calle de Guadeloupe, Mexico” by William Henry Jackson Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program