So this is how they decided to take him—
at the end of his life,
his frame shrunken, his wild rambling days over,
his days of bar fights and women over—
they waited until now,
at eighty years old,
when he had no strength to fight—
snatched him off the street,
gagged him and bundled him into a car
with darkened windows.
He, a fifty-year citizen of Mexico,
Spanish rolling off his tongue,
lashing his takers with curses
in their own language.
In the end, they took him like that,
throwing him in the car
like a sack of meat
and finally, after calling his family
and extorting all the money they could—
after stripping him of every dollar
and every item of value on his body—
they did unto their elder the only thing
they knew how to do well—
they shot him.
Added: Monday, June 30, 2014 / Used with permission.
Yvette Neisser is the author of Grip, winner of the 2011 Gival Press Poetry Award (2012). Her translations from Spanish include South Pole/Polo Sur by María Teresa Ogliastri and Difficult Beauty: Selected Poems by Luis Alberto Ambroggio. Her poems, translations, essays, and reviews have appeared in such publications as Foreign Policy in Focus, Virginia Quarterly Review, and the Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry. She is a founding Board Member of the DC-Area Literary Translators Network (DC-ALT) and has taught writing at George Washington University and The Writer's Center.