Audrey Ashira

a woman selling scarves

In poetry on June 16, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Upon the worn
red brick
Between the restaurants
And clothing stores
She sets up her tables
Skirts,
Scarfs
Intricately woven
She strokes them with her hands
Hands like coffee stains
And looks out with her
Dark and stony eyes
Stones of a river.
Would you like to buy?
Would you like to buy?
I wonder,
How foreign does it sound
Coming off her tounge
To her own Sanskrit mind
We can not communicate much
Only twenty-five dollar
Fifteen dollar
Ten dollar
Hesitate and the price goes down
Say: This is beautiful
And water washes over her stony eyes
The water of pride.
She strokes back her smooth, dark hair
With a strong and graceful stroke of hand
And fondles a purple scarf
You like?
You like?
I tell her I’m looking for something blue.
She finds a pink skirt, a green scarf
You like?
You like?
If we were in her country
If I spoke her tongue
We would understand each other
But if we were in her country
Would she be selling scarves?
I do not know.
I find a blue one – dark and shining
I pay her and I thank her
It is beautiful, I say.
And her eyes wash with pride.
We understand each other fine.

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