Yet one more poem that I wrote en route to Santa Lucia yesterday. It’s not actually that far from Tegucigalpa; it should be 15 minutes or so. I, however, took the bus, so there was plenty of time to get creative juices flowing. It was inspired by the small kiosks and market stands that line up along the main road opposite Hospital San Felipe, around the Próceres area, but it’s also based on a collective collage of memories I have of visiting all the markets for the past three years I’ve been in Tegucigalpa. As you can guess from the title of the update and the description that I’ve just given, the poem is called, suffice to say, Market.
I’m told to never go there
As it’s dirty and dangerous with thieves lurking,
But for me it’s the place to be,
Full of life, colour and campesinos working.
There’s no proof that the fruit is so dirty,
If it is then give it a good clean,
Your money goes to where it’s most needed,
And the supermarket prices are obscene.
Maze your way between the wooden stands,
Buy the mantequilla at the end,
Start with the toothpaste and juice at the entrance,
The sick pack of cola is a mind bend.
Mangos, pineapples, moras and guavas,
Fish, poultry and lard,
Stomach linings hung up for modongo soup,
Loud barks of bartering inspire the bard.
Squawks of distress from cages,
Pupusas sizzling on the grill,
A man with no teeth chortles at a baffled gringo
As a small woman shoves him carrying a sack of flour from a mill.
Scrubbers and flannels for the bath,
Treat your young one to a tacky toy,
Buy a bag of water for the bellowing and exhausting heat,
And buy another for the lurking street girl or boy.
I’ve always disliked the rosquilla biscuits,
But you can buy so many for a buck,
And I’ll buy a bag for my housemates,
While on a ripe orange with salt I suck.
Many stares will come your way,
Every soul is a potential deal,
Smile but don’t make your desire too obvious,
But remember some tenderers are desperate for a meal.
You can buy prayers if you’re religious,
Or play video games to waste some time,
A bunch of lilies for your lover,
The guards watch over you for crime.
There’s homemade furniture and wicker baskets for sale,
Great when you know Ladylee is so dear.
You smile at your deal for a giant bag of beans,
Jack & The Beanstalk stories bring a nostalgically ironic tear.
I love the chirping baleada ladies,
I wonder of the frowning man selling lenca art,
I bite my tongue at a picaro face selling regaeton and porn,
The refried beans from the baleada are making me fart.
You can buy some original Kevin Klein jeans,
Or a tasteful Adihash t-shirt,
Get a pair of trainers of two different sizes,
A slutty bra for the mrs won’t hurt.
Sewn bracelets, bags, wallets and woven hammocks,
Or even some sunglasses would make a nice gift.
Treat your mother to a uniquely stitched teddy bear,
It will surely give her a lift.
I could really do with a new football shirt,
But I think it’s rather a pity;
Barca, Madrid, Olimpia and Man U,
But I just can’t see one for Birmingham City.
You can buy a banquet at a Honduran market,
A cheap trip where everyone can win,
Breathe in the aromas, filter out your change,
And go home to have a market lime with gin.