Postcard from San Miguel: A victimless crime

What could a purse mean to a gringa

who can stay in a house on a hill?*

A house with more bedrooms than people,

if maid and gardener count little.

Three-hundred and twenty-five pesos?

Food for the family to the native;

so little to the graying gringa.

The journal with illegible garble?

Trash to the native;

irreplaceable to the writing gringa.

An iPad demanding a code to enter,

rendered impotent in a house with no wi-fi?

Trash to the native;

legions of lost words to the writing gringa.

That plastic card bearing a name

obviously not of an hombre Mexicano?

Trash to the native;

precious lost time to the aging gringa.

Cancelling the card and requisite changes,

all those shopping links and autopayments.

Unimaginable repercussions to the native;

in his eyes, a victimless crime.

And maybe so,

compared to such a hardscrabble life.

Loss of trust means nothing

to someone with no reason to trust life.

And what’s 325 pesos to a gringa

who can stay in a house on a hill?

The hopeful arm stretching out the driver’s side window

failed to snatch the satchel clutched tightly to her chest.

No food for the table of the native;

unrecoupable words saved for the writing gringa.

*Apologies for this format, so awkwardly written by one unaccustomed to verse. Blame it on poet Ellen Bass. Emerging under the spell of her reading during the Writers’ Conference in San Miguel de Allende, prose seemed prosaic. But the awkward prose to which followers are accustomed will resume after sleeping off her influence.

2 thoughts on “Postcard from San Miguel: A victimless crime”

    1. Susan – Sessions have been extremely stimulating. The most powerful keynote was delivered last night by Benjamin Alire Saenz: “Juarez Doesn’t Stop at the Border.” Planning on ordering a recording of it when I head back in for my last day of workshops this morning.


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