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By Kim Ovrutsky
Zapotec women are slicing watermelon,
Flipping tortillas, chopping chicken and chilis
Under sheets of plastic.
A young mother huddles against
The side of the cathedral, hand out,
A crying toddler by her side,
Her baby, reboso-wrapped, nurses.
Every day she is at her station shoeless.
Straw sombrero hiding his face,
The street sweeper pushes his cart
And twig broom uphill slowly.
Here the ground is not safe, he thinks,
As he passes a windowless, roofless
Colonial wreck, rife with leftist graffitti.
Off the main square wandering minstrels
Sing of love and despair, await pesos
From those from el norte,
While waitresses serve up beer and moles.
After singing and strumming all morning,
The blind balladeer is led to the shady side
By his granddaughters,
Where he'll play until dark.
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Document last modified on: 11/05/2004