A poem : Glue

Cola de Zapatero

By Letisia D. Perez
Published on LatinoLA: May 17, 2003

A poem : Glue

Today I saw a little girl
on the street
at an intersection
of a big city
underneath a huge GAP poster
of two beautiful models
from some land, far, faarrrrrr away from here....

There she was
this little girl
holding on to a piece of crumpled-up bread
at the big intersection
in between the BMWs, the 4x4 trucks, the monster city buses
her tiny hands
clutching the bread
her head poking in and out of cars
saying over and over again
...se?ora, se?or....?no tiene para mi comida....? ....
?...no me da una plata se?ora, para mi mam? que est? enferma?...

nothing new
nothing uncommon
an everyday sight
in Asunci?n, during rush hour
all alone
a little girl
'round five years old
in the rain
asking for money

?...estas sola mi hijita?
...no se?ora, con mi hermano...alla esta....
over on the corner
against the GAP poster
a little boy
age? Oh, seven or eight at most
half conscious
...es mi hermano, se?ora...she said
the boy was holding on to
an old plastic bag
the bag moving in and out of his mouth,
like he was gasping for air
but it wasn't air he was breathing
it was COLA,
like they call it down here
cola de zapatero
shoe glue

?...que hace tu hermano, mami?...
...es cola....tiene hambre...
..dame un poco de plata...?si?...

I felt a man looking at me
...no le des dinero, no.....
...es para comprar mas cola...
he said, and smiled at me
like I was some stupid tourist
I looked at the seven year-old glue -junkie brother of the little girl
then I looked back at her,
she was losing her patience with me
...por favor se?ora!!!...

Back in Detroit
the same thing happened to me
but it was with my friend,
living out on the streets
strung out on heroin
...por favor... dame para mi ...remedio... Leti...por favor
sick from the withdrawal
he just kept repeating...dame, Leti, dame un 75 dolares...
but he was a man
this is a baby, almost

I went to my pocket for some change
...toma mami...toma...putting the change in her hands
the little girl ran off
with the change
from my pocket
and sat next to her brother
under the
GAP poster.

That poster of two beautiful models
from a land soooooo far away, that I could not imagine:
Where or who could even afford the goddamn clothing from that shiny GAP poster,
or who would even THINK of putting that piece of shit at an intersection where there are kids who have nothing to eat,
but glue to smoke
no shoes to wear,
but the street itself
on a cold
I turned my back and walked away in the pouring rain.
End of Story.

Something is very wrong with this picture.
But then again,

About Letisia D. Perez:
Letisia was born in a small suitcase, somewhere between
Argentina and Canada , many years ago....She grew up in Michigan, near the border, (Canada, that is).She would like to be a writer when she grows up. Peace.

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