(a Morning Walk through San Miguel de Allende)
Two blocks uphill on Calle Jesús
and a right turn on Umarán
bring me to La Parroquia,
the gardeners in the Jardín
already at work shaping the
trees into perfect rectangles,
early risers reading on the
benches or drinking coffee
under the portales, someone
selling the daily papers.
I cross to Calle San Francisco
where the sun meets me,
a shopkeeper sweeping the
doorway of my favorite tienda
with its faded, red-striped awning,
rolls of bright ribbon hanging
above the counter, plastic toys
and notebooks displayed
in the window.
I make a left turn on Juárez,
past the small square in front of
the church where old men are sitting
in the shade of the laurel trees.
Turning right on Mesones, I see
school kids hurrying from the bus stop,
delivery trucks double parking,
women in flowered aprons selling
tortillas and queso fresco on the sidewalk.
The town is awake and alive at this hour,
my own senses thrumming to the beat
of this early morning walk, this daily ritual,
a route so familiar, so simpática,
I know it all by heart.
Thea Evensen 2022