ROSA DE RIO

by m.s.wardrip

The sun shines briskly on the windy, rocky dirt road,

Winding up the mountain pass to Golida Plaza,

Where the great white lights are born, a spring a flowing,

A woman and her basket of fresh cut roses ambling up to market.

Juaza is content to ride in his antique wooden-wheeled donkey cart,

He drives his tipsy wagon fast past the woman Gettea, and says, “Aye!”

She spins her head in surprise then smiles at him with her big brown eyes,

For he knows that she enjoys the climb to her lofty perch on the special street.

Her roses are sweet, they smell all down the street, morning is fresh,

The colours are bright everywhere, the sage, black and white fills stirring air,

The hawkers with clucking chickens in cages, the jeweller of silver, the joker,

A cute baby face of a young girl in lace sells cookies with candy on top smiles.

The Rosa De Rio is the hit of the day, scornful street shoppers, slowly pass,

Children in rags unclean, play marbles on the curb, dirt undisturbed,

Old men looking for knives and watches, never buy but look like they might,

Young couples, laugh in happy amazement at some cheap little shiny thing.

An old woman hums a song to herself as she weaves a rug on a loom,

The middle aged man carries a big flat-screen TV to a van parked in the mud,

The dust, dirt and crud in the poor mountain village is clean to the soft singer

As glow is cast at sunset as they fold up the booths with tablecloth over loot.

And the Rosa De Rio is sold on the street, complete, except for her sore feet,

She goes down straight to her neighbor with whom she sometimes labors,

And presents her small fortune as payment for the wholesale shoes she sells,

Rosa is complete, Gettea wears new shoes, the red ones, with pink wings.

The pink roses, the pink shoes, wind around and around in soft hues,

The mountain winds and rocky roads lead to comfort for her heel and toes,

A good day picking roses, a good day on the high windy mountain, at last,

Juaza passes her on the way down, she spins with a frown and smiles again.

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