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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