On my thirteenth birthday, we crossed the border. Starched guayaberas
& dress slacks, shined shoes reflecting the high summer sun.
As often happened when we were down in the valley, 
we occupied an entire room to feed the extended family.
Passing elote stands &  kids selling chiclets, a neighborhood dusty
& busy. In Miguel Alemán, we were comfortable but conspicuous.
Clearly there for the day. A luxurious & easy crossing,
lower prices & local color. We took up the whole
sidewalk, loudly, happily. My gran'pa paid for the whole thing, 
including this Virgen I wear still. "Mi'jo, que dios te bendiga." 

I wrote this with my students on March 10, inspired by Maggie Smith's "Talisman". I suggested that we stick to ten lines of ten words each. If you're not familiar with the image of the Virgen de Guadalupe, click here. 

4 responses to “virgen.”

  1. This is a powerful piece; however, starting with the picture and ending with the significance of that medal is absolutely a perfect testament to you grandpa – who orchestrated the whole thing!


  2. This is vivid and powerful slice. You combine something tactile and physical with the movement of and detail of your memory. Thank you for sharing, fantastic writing.


  3. The opening and closing lines are so lovely. Such a nice piece, and so evocative for 10 lines. It is good to write about an important object, because we learn so much more…


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