Bawd at Fiesta San Alberta

by Christopher North

Early evening – the Ukrainians spin on their heels
and their groupies involve us all in the long bare grace
of their legs as they cross the Plaza, arms folded.
“Not enough meat on ‘em,” says the retired sergeant major
as Normandina buys a wooden doll – ¡De Rusia! ¡De Rusia!
she says to the air. It’s a tubular peasant with enormous eyes,
a gloss bigote and rustic smock. Pepe whacks down her cana
then pulls the wooden head and from beneath the smock
a thick matchstick with a red tip leaps forward.
The tractor driver escorting the teacher from East Grinstead,
looks shocked and burrows in her bag of ribbons and beads
as a beer belly churl leans forward to jiggle the head.
¡Ya. esta! ¡Ya esta¡  he shouts, then laughs
like gravel pouring into a galvanized bucket.
Below him a wide-eyed baby intensely sucks a dummy.