After the Tear Gas
When the military tanks rolled in spraying tear gas, Rose escaped through the market, the souvenir wrapped tightly in her palm, thinking of the woman. Did she manage to get up from her sales table and run?
Earlier that day near the cathedral in Lima’s plaza, she had met the Peruana wrapped in wool. Rose traded her a few dollars’ worth of soles for a roly-poly figurine, the size of a small guava, earth-brown, formed of clay. Rose was enchanted by the little madonna, round as a seed, polished as a worry bead, face tilted skyward, eyes wise; charmed by the fecund belly caressed smooth by the vendor’s pensive thumb.
After the tear gas, Rose imagined the Peruana wiping her weeping eyes, reaching for her comfort, to find it gone. Did she surrender her solace when it passed from her hand?
Teresa H. Janssen
Teresa H. Janssen lives in the Pacific Northwest where she tends an orchard, teaches, and writes in a variety of genres about nature, social issues, and spirituality. She can be found online at: teresahjanssen.com.
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