Reflections on Rivera's Vendedora de Flores
Posted Mar 18 2006
It is dark.
In the silence of cool morning,
a woman struggles on her knees to stand.
The basket of flowers secured to her back
weighs her down.
The warm smell of fresh tortillas infuses her body;
she longs to go back inside.
Instead, head bowed, she concentrates on rising to her feet
as husband prepares to lift the great load for an instant--
so that wife may stand.
The moment just before arising from prayer.
His feet are brown and dusty.
Flatfooted, he stands behind her;
body obscured by the oversize basket filled
with white calla lilies.
The largest nest
the whitest birds.
not quite singing, not quite crying.
Her hair is thick and shadowy.
Parted and pinned, it is tight;
A worn beige rebozo wilts softly
over her shoulders.
it may provide some protection
from the constant rubbing of
straw on a weary
back and arms.