Happiness

By Daniel Arias-Gomez

Sometimes it sneaks up on me, as I look out the window
of a bus, for example, and see a woman in huaraches running
in the rain—her right arm waving, her left
hand pulling a boy, a backpack bumping
against his shoulders. The woman opens
her mouth, but I only hear rain
against the glass—a black braid lashes
her neck, and from her arm
dangle two mesh bags with a plaid pattern
woven out of strands of plastic and filled with vegetables, beans, rice. My mother
used those same bags when we went to the market on Sundays. One day
she bought me a bag all for myself, the same
as hers but smaller, in which I dropped
tangerines, peanuts, mazapanes, as I followed her
through market stalls. The bus driver sees
the woman and the boy in time
and stops—her face loosens, and she smiles,
and her smile takes in all the rain
and all the mud on the street and on her huaraches, and she turns
to the boy and says
something to him,
and he smiles back.


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