Francisca, Homeless
(The image, “visual metaphor”, corresponds to the last verses.)

Stumbling,
Stoop-shouldered,
Shoes too big, overcoat too long,
A walking stick from an apple crate,
A sack of trash over her shoulder,
Riddled by impatient horns honking,
She crosses the street.

Someone yells “Bitch!”
Like a ticket to victory.

Francisca looks at life’s disarray,
And breathes out of habit.

Difficult cutting through the Milky Way
Without even false teeth.

Reaching the other side
Is all the same.
Closing her eyes
She erases her afternoon, her life,
And returns to the vast sea in the distance.


Original Poem in Spanish by Nela Rio

Translation: Elizabeth Gamble Miller

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