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Los Ancianos

Los Ancianos*

They hold hands

as they walk with slow steps.
Careful together they cross the plaza
both slightly stooped, bodies returning to the land,
he in faded khaki and straw hat,
she wrapped in soft clothes, black
robozo* round her head and shoulders.

Tourists in halter tops and shorts
pose by flame trees and fountains,
but the old couple walks step by step
on the edge.
Even in the heat, only their wrinkled
hands and faces show. They know
of moving through a crowd at their own pace.

I watch him help her
off the curb and I smell love
like dried flowers, old love
of holding hands with one man for fifty years.

By Pat Mora from Borders, winner of the Southwest Book Award, published by Arte Publico Press at the University of Houston,1986

* ancianos: old people (ancients)
* robozo: shawl worn over head and shoulders, worn by Latinas

DMU Timestamp: March 19, 2021 22:17

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