La Florista

1 November 2015

Every morning we heard her bell.
It is La Florista on her parti-colour triciclo.

I am four years old, my mother
and I always go out to welcome her.

She looked Japanese but with coppery
skin. Wearing a straw hat, she always arrived

with a smile. She came in winter too,
but in my memory La Florista brings

mornings with the sun warm on my skin. My mother,
a young woman as vivacious as the flowers,

carefully selects – chrysanthemums one day,
gladioli another, some days roses,

some days carnations. I watch fascinated, marveling
at this ebullience in colour. Before La Florista leaves

she makes a small bouquet from oddments with short stems,
passing it me, smiling, saying, for you to give

to Saint Martin.Then she rides off on her triciclo,
calling out her farewell, and I watch her go.


Poem translate from The Spanish by Carol Jenkins.

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