Inspired by a photograph of a Roadside Stand in Villa Hermosa
by Xill Fessenden
Look no-one stirs the bright blue pot
simmering on the iron fire box or tends
the ears of roasted corn that sweetly brown
on the charcoal brazier
their green leaves litter the pavement.
No-one gathers the huge sheaf of scarlet gladioli
that embraces a corner of the adobe wall.
See on a chair a basket of apples tilts
forward and beside the open door
in the thick hot silence two bottles of milk wait.
Sun curls round the scene it vibrates with life
though none is present. The weight of absence
hangs in the air
it touches the pot ruffles the petals
scatters the leaves. We go through life tracking
absences. As crucial as a poem’s white spaces
we respond to them like the pause
between breath in breath out
that split second necessary to live
when we do not breathe.