It’s getting late.

Outside, men speak in clouds of steam

But the cheery red tent is heated by our bodies,

Sheltering us from the night.

Mariachi songs dance around me

I’m tap-tapping my fingers on the tablecloth

I’m swallowing a plump bean burrito

The wallet in my backpack grows thinner.

A woman clambers on stage

The music stops.

Heads swivel

A little girl. Lost. White shirt. Pigtails.

We all glance at one another, wring our hands

But I see the pigtails attached

to a white shirt attached

to a little girl,

Sitting alone at a table next to mine.

¿Dónde está tu mamá?

Tiny shoulders shrug, unknowing

Dark eyes searching the crowd, my face

I take her hand in mine

Miniature, hot, and gentle

We twist through the noisy, restless mass of dancers

Until I see a face

I see relief and exhaustion and triumph

Directed at this little angel I found,

Who is whisked away, snatched up

Like I might have stolen her.

They melt into the crowd

Without so much as a thank you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s