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My Neighborhood

Algunos saludos, cálidos

or if I’m wearing

chanclas, miradas

de desdén

I know many

by sight, every day

more by name.

Rafa, Marian, Lina,

Paco, el hombre de

la tiendecita, or su hija también

Esta mañana, as

I walked past the

peña, I heard

a voice like a spring fiddle,

“¡Buenos días Rafa!

¡Buenos días Luis!

¡Buenos días Lola y Luz!”

and on and on

It was a young neighbor with a playful morning song.

And on the other sidewalk

of the cobblestone street

leaning on a 1960s bar, built into a 1760s wall

a woman smoked and said

hi to me, and a man sat

in an aluminum chair

at an aluminum table and beckoned

Marco over, to pet his head.

“Tiene la misma cara que

mi gata,” he said, risueño.

By Madeleine Brink


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