El Tigre Market

As apparent as the rest, the asphalt cracks
are crowded with yellow weeds, the rust goes
beyond its bleeding color, and the lot's rails,
battered by cars, cast larger bars by noon.
On one side of the market someone painted
a row of flower pots, hanging geraniums
for the locals who must now go across town.
As apparent as the rest, El Tigre walks upright,
wears a tiny sombrero and sarape, and pushes
a grocery cart full of food. His painted stripes
are starting to flake like the bounty he wheels
for the families drifting into the parking lot
off 3rd Street and next to the train station
still waiting to the retrofitted for the big one.

Juan Delgado, "El Tigre Market" from Vital Signs. Copyright © 2013 by Juan Delgado.  Reprinted by permission of Heyday Books.
Source: Vital Signs (Heyday Books, 2013)
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