Sunday, January 09, 2011

The Exchange

I visit your quiet stall of beautiful colors weaved 
into bags and blouses.

“How much is this blusa de flores -
blouse of flowers?” I ask you.

“200 pesos,” you answer,
my little prince of 6.

“Es caro – expensive,” I say.
 “No…” you shake your little head,

A smile that beams and radiates,
Es barata – it’s cheap.” You say.

And gently you fold the blouse again. 
Testing you, I walk away.

Later that afternoon, along the Gran Plaza
You cross the busy calle - street, adorned with Mayan fabrics

on your little hip. Our glances meet,
there, your smile,

beams forth, a beacon of light
finding its way to my heart.

Late at night, drunk with Spanish love songs,
a generous meal in the stomach, I walk alive and carefree.

From the corner of the eye, I see your shadow moving
briskly against the tower of people, your load of fabrics, the same.

My heart squeezes tight, holding back
the sadness and shame it feels.

Why? Why hadn’t I run after you
and given you all that I had?

Now I think of you, my little prince,
questions and words are meaningless, can not define
the splendor and joy, 
that is,
the priceless beam of your smile.

By Mai Brehaut  
Merida, Mexico


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