Guatemalan, First Winter, New York

She stands in sandals,
bending her head to the wind
inside her thin shirt.
Her black hair, wet at the neck,
will freeze before the bus comes.
She has not known air like this,
not even in the mountains of Quiche.

Her eyes do not wince, do not move.
They guard the burned trails back
to where she hung up her huipil
of birds and color
and put on the dark clothes, woven by no one.
Soon binding boots will force her feet,
(like a gun in her side)
to walk deeper
into the cold America.

Naomi Thiers was a Washington, D.C.-area writer whose poetry had been published in several literary magazines when this poem appeared .

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