Photo by Sarah Lim
Photo by Sarah Lim

By Gerardo Hernandez

The weight of flowers is immense.
Responsibility is stored
within each petal.
Las flores,
pink and purple,
stretch the woven basket
on the man’s aching back.
Kneeled to the ground
on all fours,
palms are cut,
knees are scratched.
Struggle hidden under the vibrant, yellow sombrero.

His strength heavily contrasts
that of his yellow sling
which wraps around the canasta
and is tied under his chin.
His exhaustion keeps him behind,
rushing is not a priority.
The market awaits his arrival.
Assistance is needed.
The wife reaches for the bottom of the basket
lifts it from behind
letting a shaky “levántate
slip through her breath.
His white clothes do not matter,
the unfulfilled duty
has already stained his garments.

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