Day 26: Blessing Song

when i first came to the city, my fear rode on my back

cities don’t love indians.  but i didn’t know better

than to walk everywhere, because i could. and i began

to admit there was life all around me, from the first crack

of dandelion leaves up in march, through the stubborn

winter song of stubby pines in january. but it was not

here that i finally heard it, not in these chickadee landscapes.

it was hot

in guadalajara, and i was walking alone, not knowing

any better still; i’d dared the street of mariachis

bought guitar strings, quite failed to encounter

muggers and rapists among the itinerant musicians

walking there. i had dared

a boutique, as well, led by a song from mall speakers; so

i was freshly clad in song, joy, relief and a royal blue skirt

when i strode down into the underpass. in the dim

dark, a diesel bus roared by, coughing in my face. i

walked on and came into light on the other side

soot-faced and amazed, in a city vibrant with stones

carved with stories, in a city thrumming with song

live indians walking everywhere. this city would not

let me imagine i was not still cradled on the very

same earth mother.

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