Yerbas Buenas, Chile
Thick black hair drapes an eye. You’re sure
you’ve met her before. No effort to tuck
the wayward beneath a white bandana. Her skin
glows, smile magnetic. Mid-April, we order
her sopa de pollo, days cooler now, armarios
lighter with duvets and blankets pulled, snow
capping the Andes. Fanta and Coke crowd
her counter, condiments wait to be squeezed
onto El Completo, the Chilean hot dog.
A tree-lined street leads to the plaza near
this place, leaves turning reveal the perseverance
of nature, like Mirta’s, her early rising to market,
the making of her stews, her pastel de choclo––
her sweet casserole of ground beef and corn.
Author of Museum of Rearranged Objects (Kelsay Books, 2018) as well as of five chapbooks, Judith Terzi’s poetry appears widely in literary journals and anthologies, has received nominations for Best of the Net and Web, and has been read on the BBC. A former educator, she taught high school French for many years as well as English at California State University, Los Angeles, and in Algiers, Algeria.