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View From a Hammock

(Mexico 1992)

The women are washing clothes in the warm
green river
their skirts tucked up between their legs

From the hill above I can imagine the musky smell
and their smiles as they glance up
then drop their heads to ignite a flash of laughter
that runs across the water

Above the wide valley the bony mountains
shine dully in the hot and humid air
banana palms droop and shine
shade grassy banks of a tributary stream

Children
children like the fruit and rocks and birds
everywhere
children playing in the woods and water

On the bank
Tencia lifts the bundle of my wash to her hip
flips back her braid and shades her eyes
looks up the hill and smiles

Time to go

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Jon Horton

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