Daniel A. Olivas


Our little taste of the wild
amidst the cement and
asphalt north of Ventura Boulevard,
in the summer heat of the
San Fernando Valley.

An inflorescence of orange-yellow,
each a lancet basal,
stems slender and arcing,
carpeting the vacant lot near
the sweaty hum of Valencio's Car Wash.

A breeze enhances their splendor,
incoming a tide of old ivory hats
and long, cheerful, verdant legs.

Mustard is beautiful and native, but
when the eye approaches, street
loud and busy, you will see that it is
nothing more than a weed.

Papa, look at the beautiful flowers!

Yes, mijo, the flowers are gorgeous,
aren't they?

Can we pick some?

No, no.  I smile, thinking the word weed.
No, no.  Let them stay in nature.
They're happy there.

Previously published in The Hornacle

Date of Birth: April 8, 1959
Location: West Hills, California
Occupation: Writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry by night. Government attorney specializing in environmental enforcement and land use by day.
Email: olivasdan@aol.com
Publications: The MacGuffin, Exquisite Corpse, THEMA, The Pacific Review, The Raven Chronicles, Red River Review, Perihelion, Outsider Ink, Pig Iron Malt, RiverSedge, etc.
Books/Chapbooks: Assumption and Other Stories (Bilingual Press, spring 2003); The Courtship of María Rivera Peña (Silver Lake Publishing, 2000); Fantasmas: Supernatural Stories by Mexican American Writers (Anthology), edited by Rob Johnson (Bilingual Press, 2001); Love to Mamá: A Tribute to Mothers (Anthology), edited by Pat Mora (Lee & Low Books, 2001).
Awards: One of ten finalists in the 2000 Willa Cather Fiction Contest sponsored by Helicon Nine Editions for Assumption and Other Stories (Bilingual Press, spring 2003)

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