Written June 17, 2017
We cross the border into Mexico
wander down the streets of Tijuana.
I am 14 and have bad period cramps
for this occasion and have to go into
the drug store there to buy aspirin
which I swallow without water.
I take photos, of the Mexican blankets,
of a little dog I like at the time but when
I look at the photos afterwards at home
he looks thin in the collar he wears
and he looks out into the street from the
sidewalk, not at me.
There is a girl of about six with a
dirty face and dress begging for money
but she doesn’t ask me as I walk by.
Just as we are leaving my cramps subside.
I stop at a stand on the outskirts
where some boys are selling pottery
on a table and I see a piggy bank,
white with blue flowers that I like and
I ask the boy, who is about my age, how much?
I see he is thinking or too shy to speak
and I say 50 cents?
He agrees and I hand him the money
but his brother beside him looks angry
mutters something to him in Spanish,
nudges his arm while the boy shrugs.
He sold it to me for too little I think.
I wait and look at both of them
but neither says anything more.
I take my piggy bank in the bag
and leave before the older one
changes his mind.
by Wendy Stewart