Poetry by Connie Soper
Mexico City’s gray cinder blocks
quivered in the haze
as our bus pulled into a wayside
pocked with scrub, brown vegetation,
arroyo’s shallow smear.
Next to the tequila stand, tourists
paid good money to feed a burro bottles
of Coca Cola; for two pesos, snap
a photograph of the woman with an iguana
atop her head.
That languid creature
flicked a pink tongue, its flagging tail
a tired metronome.
String tied around its neck leashed it close,
a reptilian hat over hot black braided hair.
I argued with my sensibilities for a while,
then tossed her a few pesos from the window
as the bus drove away.
Decades later, I can still see in the blurred
snapshot this woman whose mother
gave her a name.
Magenta hummingbirds in flight
across her cotton apron. Baby balanced
on one hip, iguana flopped across her head;
she stoops for those coins,
little tarnished stars in the dirt.
Connie Soper has come back to poetry after a long hiatus. Her poems have previously appeared in CALYX, Willamette Week, San Francisco Guardian, North Coast Squid, Ekphrastic Review, and elsewhere. She is also the author of a nonfiction book, Exploring the Oregon Coast Trail. She divides her time between Portland and Manzanita, Oregon. She loves and is continually inspired by the time she spends at the Oregon Coast.