Thursday, September 6, 2018

Carilda Oliver / The Boy Who Sells Greens

The Boy Who Sells Greens 
by Carilda Oliver Labra

You have no parents, it's clear. . . I know
because of your indecisive look. I can tell
because of your ragged shirt.

You are small but grown up behind the basket.
You respect the sparrows. A penny is enough for you.

The people pass their insides dressed in steel.
They don't listen to you...You have shouted
two or three times: 'Greens!'

They pass indifferently carrying packages and umbrellas;
in new pants and new yellow blouses;

they walk in a hurry toward the bank and the tedium
or toward the sunset through Main Street. . .

And you're not selling: you do the game of selling;
and although you never played, it comes to you without trying...

But don't get close to me; no, child, don't talk with me.
I don't want to see the site of your probable wings.

I found you this morning around the courthouse,
and what a blow your unhappy innocence has given me!

My heart which was a urn of illusion
is now like wilted greens, like no heart at all. . .

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