No one catches on who was elsewhere.
Look at his eyes, their red rims.
Nonetheless happiness rings change.
She’s smiling, remembering. What?
Don’t even try, she loves him now
as then, when young he held Canipis
with both hands while she shot them
with the safety off: German shepherd
with her, Manuel working the mines,
a long sight better than rows of cotton
but not what he wanted. Moved north,
cleared overgrown fields, strung wire
and got the blue grapes to grow again.
By then Canipis was long gone.
By then they’ve lost their first son.
Here’s the second son. Can’t you tell
by the tentative, all-too-wary words?
(16 March 2014)
copyright 2014 by Floyce Alexander