ekphrastic poem inspired by Francisco Zuniga’s “Woman with Rebozo”
With a face as round as the moon and as dark as the night
and feet black as the asphalt she walked all day,
the tired woman and her rebozo cast defeat
over the alley and sought mercy with her eyes.
Her thin dress outlined the contour of her breasts and belly
and the white cotton fell between her legs
as she sprawled on the ground and buried her head
under the weight of her long, patterned shawl.
The expression of a ruined day, or night, or life
could make a blind man stop and take a second look
and wonder why she has given in after so many years
and why would she stop now?
She has no children to hold and no fruit to take home.
This rebozo is draped carelessly over her head,
down the length of her arms and onward to her feet.
It seems more of a way to hide than a need for warmth.