Mercado de Las Brujas

The dawn breaks

Through the dust

The wind rakes

Through the silence

The market stalls awake

The cobbled streets

The treacherous streets

The shuffle and the beat

Of the midday heat


The men sing

and rock

on their ankles

They point

to my filthy boots

and advertise their services to me

in a language I can’t understand


No, thank you.

No, gracias.

Lo siento, lo siento,

Pero no etiendo


I walk the streets three days in a row.

I grow sadder

I grow more hopeful

I become more open to street food

And less fearful of sundown

I watch the women bow under the weight of their bags

In their colourful skirts and traditional glad rags

I watch them

to learn how to walk on these streets

Which my boots do not belong on

I watch the young girls watching them too

I watch them watch their future

And I turn

I turn my head away


There are lines

In the faces of the women

Like ancient tree roots

Grown from the shadows of old sorrows


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