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Nov 2017
They were so poor,
their children played on dusty roads;
Mother Mary
cleaned her face with her own tears,
the hand
that once touched her became a clinched fist

Ana didn’t want to bring another child into this world,
but a family
was the only way they knew how to live;
they didn't own anything
except the flowers in the window

They need
to learn more about their people;
The only way
she could feed her baby was her body;
She felt safe
until her son needed real food

She prayed
for her body to keep fighting;
fighting for her children
her ******* remained full;
He knew she was kind
but she didn’t feel that way

The dust covered her heart
and the shoes she wore;
so he bought her a dress
even to wear in the hot desert sun
It was red
and fit her like sin
between two people in love

When she wore it
the other women watched quietly
She wore it for a week;
every day without washing
He watched her quietly
knowing she was strong
Then she took the dress off
and kissed Mary’s hand

She gave the dress to her best friend,
Juanita Hernandez;
Juanita washed the dress
while Ana fed her child;
the dress would be shared
because they shared the dust in the air

Their husbands couldn't wait
for their wife’s turn with the dress;
a red dress was for love
and not sin in the desert sun

They were so poor
the dust covered their memories;
but the dress was bright
and they wore it with dignity

A poor woman
is as beautiful as a rich woman
even if her stomach is empty
and her heart has become hard

She saw the other men
look at her when it was her turn;
she knew they wanted her
even though she was so sad,
the dress made them see;
They knew how she could love them,
but instead
she gave it back to Juanita Hernandez

Then she gave thanks to Mary again;
For her children still loved her
and her husband remembered why
he gave her the dress
Mark Lecuona
Written by
Mark Lecuona
398
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