He tells the bone-deep pain with his pterygium-covered eyes. I wave and he nods his head with a half-smile, our quiet greeting. Walking to the corner after their long day, several tired and resilient men gather up children in their split hands and chat.
golden hour’s light
Sitting a box of bruised vegetables inside the door, I sip a flattening coke. It is one of the three cans of soda in this scrubbed but dilapidated trailer. Kept here for our visits, I’m offered the gift to show respect and gratitude. I drink it to show mine. The never-stop nurse ushers one after another into the van for last minute health checks, giving those who need them recently expired medications. I count what’s left of the crates of too-expensive-to-buy produce. The slap-slap-slapping of hands and smell of the first tortillas cooking make my stomach talk. A girl toddles over to me, falling once on the way.
red string bracelet
milk teeth smile
Last week, we handed out donated chicken thighs after women and men returned from a twelve-hour day. These families are moving on, down to Florida where strawberries, tomatoes, and oranges wait. As my Spanish starts to improve, my field school research is wrapping up. It started with an interest in ethnomedicine, it’s ending with a much different focus.
Preparing to leave, we hug the women. “Las veo pronto,” the nurse says. Men wave. “Gracias por alimentando mi familia,” I yell to them. “Dios bendiga,” they reply.
riding a moonlit road masked by trees these secrets
Walking to the car with her sacks, she looks toward a sunned sky and pulls in crisp air. Leaves are still gone from the parking lot trees and a patch of stippled snow hangs on in the median. Passing her by, an unmasked gentleman sneers at her masked face and spits at her feet. Mr. Rogers whispers in her ear just keep looking for the helpers.
milk and bread
deer neighbors in the yard
weary years re-reading illicit writings while holding on the walls of a rabbit hole (FLIP!) moments return of indulging in mysteries and romance as wrecked wannabes exit and a tag team enters with a powerful woman and a poetry reader (PHEW!)