Waiting III


The menu del dia reads

Sopa de yucca, fideos con tomate, jugo de pina

I enjoy the chunks of yucca and drink the juice I shoudn’t

To pass the time I have come to take for granted

And scribble through books and maps, devising a plan

That I will most likely not follow

A young boy humbly approaches me

Across the table his eyes meet mine

They ask not as a beggar,

But with the earnest plea of one human

Needing the help of another

Reaching out to me

With a proud silence

In the noisy station

We share the absence of words

And I pass him my plate of fideos

His lips and cheeks are chapped and torn

With crusted dirt under tiny nails

He eats the noodles as if he were hoarding

The last platter of Incan gold

Peering out from the folds of his baggy chaqueta

He swims inside the warmth of the oversized garment

Never taking his eyes off me,

Almost fearing I may retract my offer

I force a trembling smile

that hides the pain swelling in my chest

rising up to spill over

My wet eyes

There is always too much time to wait

Just to start moving again

But the sharpest memories

Always seem to happen between strangers

in the passing stillness of travel

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