by Gerald Locklin

First in Tucson,
Now at El Cholo in L.A.
On western just south of Olympic,
My wife and I make a point
Of enjoying them once a summer.
Some tamales are not hot.
These are sweet with the syrup
Of young corn, steamed within
The husks.  Even the thin strand
Of a green pepper seems sweet.
Even the morsel of tender chicken
Seems sweet.
Sweet as sweethearts
On the evening promenade
Above the beach at Mazatlan.
Sweet as summer evenings.
Sweet as the respite, the
Renewal, at the end of day.
Think sweetly of green corn tamales,
Remembering that the water of the desert,
Hoarded by the thirsty cactus,
Is the sweetest water.

Reprinted by permission of the author from The Life Force Poems, © Gerald Locklin, 2002, Water Row Press, Sudbury, Massachusetts.

“Green Corn Tamales” by Gerald Locklin appears in the  Silver Birch Press Green Anthology: An Eclectic Collection of Poetry & Prose. The anthology includes poetry, short stories, essays, novel excerpts, and stage play scenes that touch on “green” in one way or another. The Silver Birch Press Green Anthology is available at (free Kindle version until 12/21/13).

Photo: El Cholo, Los Angeles. Visit the restaurant online at