April 2014

On the Way to San Miguel

Small mud houses you spotted when you looked down into the valley, and then you saw the winding paths they walked barefoot to climb up to the side of the speeding road, where they spread old worn cloth across bushes to escape the beating sun.

When you came down the road in your screaming burst of metal, like an armed conquistador, these small people, men and women, would hold up lizards they killed by the tail for you to purchase and perhaps eat.

The poet never saw a car stop. The bard wondered how the lizard might taste, if cooked over an open fire. The poet stopped only once when younger and braver, buying a necklace made of seedpods linked by wire. The singer wore it off and on till it got lost in a move.

It was hard to stop because the bard felt like what even poets are in the Western world, rich assholes. The bard was glad the Indios were there though—just sorry they had needed to turn to begging. The bard knew that they were where his kind came from—a harsher life for sure, but his people’s home.

—Chuck Taylor

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