Selma 2017

For this poem I wanted to follow William Wordsworth rhyme scheme in “London 1802”. As I read it, it was ABBAABA CDDECE. I focused on a conversation a friend from my hometown and I were having a some time back. We were talking about our home town, Selma. Both of us aren’t particularly large fans of our small town, but we recognize that our hometown is part of our fulfillment of the American Dream given both of us are the children of immigrants. We recognized that we were lucky to have lived in the area of town that we did as we recalled a fourteen year old boy who was shot on Nebraska street; a street which is widely known to be on the “bad side” of town. As we went on talking we recognized that it’s not just the “bad side” of town or that Cesar was bad. There is underlying issues of poverty, education, gun control, gangs, and other things my friend and I likely can’t begin to understand yet. Largely though, given that Selma is an agricultural rural town, it’s almost as if this kind of thing is expected and of secondary importance to the larger purpose of its existence which is to produce crops. This trend of gun violence isn’t one that has changed in Selma in 2017.


Selma! raisin capital of the World!

Cute, Calm, slow, numb drug of a little town

But have no worry, there isn’t much around

Ag money, brown faces, all in a swirl

What a smell of cow just like whole wheat hurl

Barely scraping through now but it isn’t cause for a frown

It’s the American Dream, don’t you know girl


Nebraska street isn’t elegant Rose Avenue.

Cesar could have told you but can’t anymore.

They call them murders, we don’t know what for.

It’s greater than the man behind the piece

maybe his youth and laws that went askew

Selma bleeds but it’s vines never cease to feed

  • Araceli Garcia Munoz

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