by Heidi Evans

Heidi Evans, photographed by Anthony Scarlati
She churns the dust

On the cracked steps—

A battle with the breeze—

As empty white shirts

Rise and fall

On the line in front

Of the lemon tree.

 

A boy runs to her

And she pauses to kiss

Each ripe cheek

Before he disappears

Through the carved door.

Sighing at the settling cloud,

She resumes her sweeping.

Across the road, pesos for

 

A mango slush peppered in chile

And the vendor smiles

Around big white teeth,

Squinting at me

Without a sombrero.

 

Orange drips down my fingers

To cool my bare knee

And a woman comes to sit,

Sipping her own slush.

She nods knowingly

At the fountain in my hands:

Hija, she says, ¿La disfrutas?

 

Instead of answering

I obey.

Taking another bite,

I let the ice dissolve

On my tongue until

I can feel the slippery string

Of the sweet fruit.

Heidi Evans has been infatuated with language since her first poem in the third grade, which was penned in stilted cursive after a lot of window-gazing in class. After acquiring her MA in Creative Writing, she now teaches English at Nashville State Community College, writes a weekly anecdotal newspaper column based on her travels and experiences, and still considers daydreaming to be her most effective muse. She can be reached at haevans8@yahoo.com.

 

“Hija, la disfrutas?” translates to, “Daughter, are you enjoying it?” But literally, disfruta means to take away (dis) the “fruit” (fruta) of a moment or experience.

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