i am waiting for a peace
by Richard Vargas

i am waiting for the pie
the pie with the flaky crust
delicate and buttery on the tongue
with the sweet and tart filling
made from fresh fruit picked
with care by dark calloused hands
belonging to people named
Juanita, Diego, Elena, or Jorge

i am waiting for the pie
with the silky smooth filling
that melts in my mouth
the meringue or whipped
cream topping light and airy
as the taste of a summer cloud
providing shade for a wedding
or cover for an approaching drone

i am waiting to be seated
with people from all over the world
people of all colors and faiths
the men, the women, and most important…
the children exploited in my name

i am waiting for all of us
to be served a piece of pie
the room suddenly quiet
and calm as the soothing smell
from the oven works its magic
as we take a bite and smile

that knowing glance passing
back and forth across the tables
will be the universal language
of approval

then suddenly
someone begins to sing
someone has a story to tell
or a poem to recite
we laugh we cry

and everyone agrees to start over
from the beginning
when our tribes first met
when it was all different and new

only this time
with pie


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Richard Vargas was born in Compton, California, attended schools in Compton, Lynwood, and Paramount. He earned his B.A. at Cal State University, Long Beach, where he studied under Gerald Locklin and Richard Lee. He edited/published five issues of The Tequila Review, 1978-1980. His first book, McLife, was featured on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac, in February, 2006. A second book, American Jesus, was published by Tia Chucha Press, 2007. His third book, Guernica, revisited, was published April 2014 by Press 53. (Once again, a poem from the book was featured on Writer’s Almanac to kick off National Poetry Month.) Vargas received his MFA from the University of New Mexico, 2010. He was recipient of the 2011 Taos Summer Writers’ Conference’s Hispanic Writer Award, and was on the faculty of the 2012 10th National Latino Writers Conference. He has read his poetry in venues in Los Angeles, Chicago, Madison, Albuquerque/Santa Fe, Indianapolis, and Boulder. Currently, he resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he edits/publishes The Más Tequila Review.

IMAGE: “Pies, pies, pies” by Wayne Thiebaud (1961).