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Picking

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My grandfather could direct more men
Than any other man to pick bananas.
His skinny arms and farm boy
Hat may not scream it,
But he was boss.
When
Where
How
And why-
My grandpa always knew.

He served “La Bananera,”
The United Fruit Company
Skillfully.

There, he met his wife.
A maid,
Past his orders she saw.
And her brown skin called to him.
An independent life there he made
But never again apart from her.

Now, in his old country house,
Breathing in the
Lonely humid air,

He picks avocados and limes
From ten feet tall trees
For his granddaughters
Who, living in Kansas,
Rarely get such treats,

And once again his arms are strong.
And for a day he shares his house
And his story
Just for his granddaughters,





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