Oranges by Gary Soto

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I fell in love with this poem the first time I read it last year in my creative writing class.  Oranges by Gary Soto is a  poem I have much admiration for because it is the most beautiful and different love poem I have ever read.  To me, love poems are an incredibly difficult thing to write, as they often come across cheesy or cliche.  Oranges, however takes a completely different spin on how to express and explain love and it is adorable to say the least.  I also enjoy this poem so much because I feel I can relate to it.  The way he describes the cold December and the rosy cheeks of the children reminds me of my childhood in Michigan.  It is a perfect picture he paints of how I remember winters growing up.  I also relate to this poem in the sense of this feeling the boy has.  I remember being a little girl and so boy crazy at this young age.  It makes me laugh now thinking about my childhood crushes and brings back those memories of elementary school romances.  This poem makes me smile every time I read it, I find it so endearing and wonderful.  There is no doubt Oranges by Gary Soto is my favorite poem. 


By: Gary Soto

The first time I walked
With a girl, I was twelve,
Cold, and weighted down
With two oranges in my jacket.
December. Frost cracking
Beneath my steps, my breath
Before me, then gone,
As I walked toward
Her house, the one whose
Porch light burned yellow
Night and day, in any weather.
A dog barked at me, until
She came out pulling
At her gloves, face bright
With rouge. I smiled,
Touched her shoulder, and led
Her down the street, across
A used car lot and a line
Of newly planted trees,
Until we were breathing
Before a drugstore. We
Entered, the tiny bell
Bringing a saleslady
Down a narrow aisle of goods.
I turned to the candies
Tiered like bleachers,
And asked what she wanted -
Light in her eyes, a smile
Starting at the corners
Of her mouth. I fingered
A nickle in my pocket,
And when she lifted a chocolate
That cost a dime,
I didn't say anything.
I took the nickle from
My pocket, then an orange,
And set them quietly on
The counter. When I looked up,
The lady's eyes met mine,
And held them, knowing
Very well what it was all

A few cars hissing past,
Fog hanging like old
Coats between the trees.
I took my girl's hand
In mine for two blocks,
Then released it to let
Her unwrap the chocolate.
I peeled my orange
That was so bright against
The gray of December
That, from some distance,
Someone might have thought
I was making a fire in my hands.

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