La Bouquinista

We sat drinking sangría

In summer streets of Madrid.

She spoke, exuding joy, alegría,

A young woman, wiry and thin.

She touched my arm,

Cautious, smiling,

With a certain Spanish charm.

“Quiere comprar mi libreto,

mi obra de poesía?”

I shook my head, “no,”

Peering up, de mi silla.

Her tune unchanged, unwavering,

Saying, “Paz y gracia.”

She grazed my shoulder

Still happy, entranced.

It was as if

Her salesmanship

Had become a dance.

Her eyes were alight

With joy and white fire.

Contagious glee met me,

Ten euros, her desire.

I reneged politely.

She said, “Entiende español!”

“Es oportunidad,”

“Son versos de amor.”

She tapped me once more

‘Round the table they stared

And I took this offering from her,

The book courtingly shared.

I fished in my pocket

To pay for her dreams.

She embraced me, excited,

It wasn’t a scheme.

My companions, unpoets,

Her meaning unheard,

“Enseñalos a sus alumnos?”

“Sí, por supuesto,” I assured.

“Mis versos les dan ayuda,”

She whirled and waved,

Her suggestion so interesting,

Spirited, brave.

“A las Américas,

Qué maravilla! Muy bien.”

I had agreed to carry los poemas,

To be her mule, her friend.

Each time that I see

Her book of verse on my shelf

It brings me joy, alegría.

Yes, it really has helped.

She is an unknown author

Like me, soft and tough,

And yet we are known to each other,

And that is enough.

By JB Morris- Poems, Prose, and Possibilities- mostly about life, sometimes about God, with brief interludes concerning shoe addiction.

Toss a Coin into the Poet’s Cap

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