The Dregs of the Earth

The Dregs of the Earth
by Noemi Santana
April 28, 2020

Luis – el Gato – the Cat --
brilliant star imploded
at the hands of who knows.
His native crib spit him out:
The Bronx took him in.
Luis – Luisito/
simple clarity born of ignorance and genius.
Humble, confident, insecure and amazing.
East 144th, 149th, 150th…how many other stops?
He could travel in subway because he could read numbers --
Illiterate in Spanish and English --
His biggest pride was that he learned to sign his name --
                                Luis Figueroa
His beingness pushing out of his chest to be recognized.
Photographic memory making up for
absent reading skills.
At his youthful height
built, stacked, strong --
easy catch for lonely women
who used him to then shake him lose\
broken, casting about for the next lie.
He knows he has a baby girl
denied to him and disappeared
but he knows he has a baby girl.
Gentle man with fragile soul
has ended up sick and alone.

About this poem

I wanted to memorialize this beautiful person who may otherwise remain invisible as happens to so many from the inner city. His life is valuable and his heart has loved much.

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Written on April 28, 2020

Submitted by Simeon5 on January 17, 2023

Modified on March 14, 2023

54 sec read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 966
Words 182
Stanzas 2
Stanza Lengths 3, 26

Noemi Santana

I stepped onto the stage of the Nuyorican Poets Café in Loisaida, New York in the Fall of 1990 bearing my poet’s soul to an audience for the first time although I had been writing since 1973. I was born in the Bronx, raised in Bridgeport, CT, and lived in Puerto Rico for a while. NYC has been home since 1977. I come late to the publishing arena but with much enthusiasm and spurred by my three children. more…

All Noemi Santana poems | Noemi Santana Books

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    "The Dregs of the Earth" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 May 2024. <>.

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