for Visual Verse Vol 7 Ch 3


She was named after the valley
where she was born: Magdalena.
Her mother was also born here,
as was her grandmother —
all of them named Magdalena.
Each had second names though,
so as to not be confused one
with another, even though age
differences should’ve sorted this.

Magdalena’s second name
was Muisca, meaning condor nest.
Her mother told her it was her
full head of wild black hair that
named her, born with hair like
a tangle of twigs and brambles
pinned into place by a bird’s beak.

Magdalena had an uneventful childhood,
and when she was 18, she decided
to getaway from small village life.
She flagged a bus and disembarked
in the next village, 850 metres away.

It was dry and sunbaked, sweaty
and burning, even in the shade.
There was a main street, wide and
dusty with storefronts on both sides
of the street. At night, darkness hid
rude graffiti on the walls, potholes
in the street, and young girls wearing
their mother’s red high heel shoes.

A meteorite once landed in the middle
of the road. Men gathered about it,
they stared at it, poked at it, and
when it didn’t move like meteorites
always do in the movies, they all
lost interest and allowed the miles
of tail-backed traffic to resume flowing.

Magdalena opened a small shop
off the main road selling Havana flip-flops
to tourists. She painted it classic yellow
and white like the fancy hotel in town.
Admittedly, the location wasn’t prime,
between a fat-rendering cafe with
splintered tables and plastic chairs,
and on the other side used tyres in
tall stacks that often tumbled into
the open road. But the shop was hers.
The profit was hers. Her life was hers.

And so she sat in a chair in the shade,
her eyes permanently narrowed in
a squint from the sun, and gently
stroked her 2-year old daughter’s
black and wild hair. Her name was
Magdalena. It was an uneventful life.


Draft Version. ©️ Misky 2010-2020. Submitted for January’s Visual Verse prompt.

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