Thursday, July 1, 2010

Malas Hierbas

Today was an event
In linguistics history,
International communication,
Gardening design.

On a friend’s recommendation
I hired José to mow,
Edge, trim, pull weeds,
And civilize my yard.

What I was not prepared for,
Nor José, was how
To talk about it, how to say
“Yank the vinca, not the violets.”

Mi Espaňol no es bueno,
His English tambien.
We smiled, shook hands,
And walked around, in trouble.

His first inquiry, “¿Están serpientes?”
I understood, and said
“¡Solo muy pequeňos!”
Which seemed to reassure.

I talked about my irises –
Bearded, Louisiana;
José just laughed, asked
“¿Flores, no?” I sighed, nodded.

Finally we agreed on cutting grass,
Clearing walks, treinta dólares the pay,
Shook hands, said “¡Bueno!”
And “That’s fine!”

And when the work was neatly done
We parted muy amable, cried
“See you again en dos semanas!”
Then he counted bills, I counted daffodils.

©2010 Juan I. Blair

Click John I. Blair for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

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