poem by Juan Olivarez

In the shade of my live oak tree, 

Drinking pink lemonade.

Just about as laid back as can be, 

Oh boy, I really got it made.

A little tart, a little sweet,
Best batch Elvira’s ever made.

Time to get off my tired feet, 

With a cold glass of lemonade.

I could use a cookie, I suppose, 

But I don’t want to leave this shade.

Maybe later, after I repose, 

Right now I’ll sip my lemonade.


ABOUT POET JUAN OLIVAREZ (in his own words): I was born in Nyssa, Oregon, while my parents who were farm workers were picking cherries and working in the potato fields in Idaho. I grew up in Mission, Texas, and attended Mission High, scool where I first attempted to write poetry. While in high school, I had two poems published in Focus magazine, “What is War” in 1972 and “The Clouds” in 1973. I have been in public service in my home town of Alton, Texas, as city alderman, police commissioner, and mayor pro tem. I love to play chess, play the guitar, cook, and my other true love — fishing. My first love has and always will be my wife Elvira McAllen, who against her better judgement decided to say yes when I asked her to marry me in 1973. We have six children, two marines, two musicians, a teacher, and my youngest who is currently in California in the place I love so much, the Mojave Desert. 

For more poems by Juan Olivarez, visit

Illustration: “Pink Lemonade” by Ranger Kat, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED