I Come From . . .
I come from the country, an
estancia so far from the city that
only the men go on horseback,
driving the cattle to market. When they return,
we'll set up the barbeque on the patio.
The old men will play their guitars,
and the women will dance. Ah, I remember last time.
I could feel Renaldo's eyes on me
as I placed a vase of yellow flowers on my head,
fanned my skirts back and forth, and
placed my feet just so.
Singing, I danced faster and faster,
my hips moving,
the flowers steady and true.
I come from San Telmo, a barrio in Buenos Aires.
I sit on my third floor verandah each morning,
hidden from the crowds below. I sip hot coffee.
The sugar from my sweet rolls sticks to my fingers.
Parrots nest high in the nearby palm trees, and
red flowers bloom in a Ceibo; later,
I'll twine them in my hair when I dance the tango.
Ah, Renaldo, I long for when you come to the city.
I will put my black dress on and dance with you
cheek to cheek.
Beth Camp is currently on the road, most recently in South America (six months). Her short stories and poems have appeared in Fickle Muses and The Eloquent Umbrella, among others. She's working on Standing Stones, a novel of the clearances set in Scotland, 1840. Previous publications: Mermaid Reflections (poetry chapbook, 2006), Effective Workplace Writing (textbook, 1995). Blog: http://bethandwriting.blogspot.com