Poem for Pancho Gonzales
This was the world of white lines, a game unlike any other, where the object was to win, only you used words like "Please" if your aim ended up improperly in the next court, "Thank you" when the ball was returned and "Love" after you scored first. Yours was the name that survived the hatred only California can inspire, strong enough to be etched in fire on tennis rackets redeemed by thrifty mothers who built a life on S&H Green Stamps a dish, a dish, a lamp, an ashtray at a time. --Leroy V. Quintana
From American Diaspora: Poetry of Displacement, edited by Vigil Suárez and Ryan G. Van Cleave, and published by University of Iowa Press. Copyright © 2001 by Leroy V. Quintana. Used with permission. All rights reserved.