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Ruben O. Valadez wins 2nd place in poetry competition

Eagle Pass attorney Ruben O. Valadez earned second place in the Southwest Texas Junior College Creative Arts Contest for the poem “two jabs and a cross.”

two jabs and a cross
that’s about all he left me,
when he left, when he left me

white flesh of his palms framing su cara morena,
open hands pleading for punches to land,
     Así, mira-Uno, Uno (you jab with the left)
     Y la mano derecha es Dos (the cross has to land on the chin)
     No importa el tamaño (His size doesn’t matter he said)
     If that cross connects, lo vas a tumbar

the cross always works
la mano derecha

I locked the lesson away, in a light-proof sound-proof
pain-proof vault, took it out (when the time was right)
to put my own open hands in front of his nieto,
     two here, like this
     and one here, hard
     what comes after? he asked
I don’t know, I said (ya no me acuerdo)

but someday I’ll tell him
after the cross you can choose to stay

-Ruben O. Valadez