In the Jardin By Roseanna Almaee In the Mexican town they wander wide-eyed and spend, as the can

, the coins in their bags. Having so much is so normal to those who have little known hunger or hardship of life. Seeing only the beauty and closed to the other, the needs of the people do not readily come, to ones at their peaks of good life and good living, there’s no time to be witness to the sufferings of some. So it was with surprise that a poor one intruded on the Gringos’ brief time in the San Miguel shops. In the Plaza Jardin she sat in the cold wrap’ed in her shawl hand out to the world. In her broken, cracked speech she called to the passers for help or assistance from life’s cruel measure. “Please sir, please ma’am,” she begged for small change from ones passing by closed to her mis’ry. And on the small mat a bone-thin hand encircled her own

not more than three years. The child curled tight in old fetal mem’ry without mother-shared cord to keep hunger away. In vain effort to seek what warmth may come the two starving bodies pres’ed close as one. The tourists shook off Tte ancient one’s grasp offended by touch and brief intrusion. How dare she disrupt their holiday trip, and burden their thoughts and their carefree world. “I know you have money!” the old beggar shrieked, frustrated by hunger and lack of attention. She called and reached out to Gringos who looked, but warded her off and never slowed down. Young girls made the sign of the cross as they passed, averting their eyes from the wretched old one. For they knew full well only one brief trouble and some day they, too would be there and then, their hands would stretch out to the soul-less crowds for food or release from this merciless life.

And the sun’s weak rays touched the ancient one’s skin unable to warm or fill the great need. So she cried and implored to the gods of the crowds as winter approached and her anguish increased. But not one of the mass took a moment to ease the burdens of such so small in their lives. A useless old woman thrown away by time to live on stone steps of the church San Miguel.

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