Please forgive my poetry, I know it's gauche to rhyme,
But I'm knee-deep in suitcases and running out of time.
I thought a poem'd be a nice tribute to end my blog
But then I got distracted and wrote a post for my dog.
So now this poem's not exactly what I had in mind,
I tried to hit the highlights and thought it'd be nice to find
Old posts to link to each stanza but, seriously? Uh, no.
So, now, without further ado, my Ode to Mexico:
I arrived in Mexico with my father by my side
My life back home was all packed up and I'd said my goodbyes.
I'd left Chicago mid-blizzard and marveled at the heat
It was even be warm enough to sleep without a sheet.
My eyes grew ever wider as I took in my new town,
I got out of the car and my whole world flipped upside-down.
Thirteen in-laws surrounded me with fourteen kids in tow,
But sadly not the mother-in-law who I barely got to know.
My breath came quick as my new family embraced me to their heart,
And they welcomed this pasty gringa without a second thought.
Despite the culture shock I tried my best to get along
And joined my sisters in the kitchen, pretending I belonged.
The water didn't take too long to get accustomed to,
You drink from bottles otherwise your tummy says "oh poo".
I quickly learned to bathe without a shower or tub,
I woke up to my first earthquake that made the locals shrug.
Ibis got food poisoning and we rushed to the ER,
I got stung by a jellyfish that left a three-inch scar.
A local dog that Ibis had adopted as his own
Was poisoned by a neighbor and we knew it was time to go.
We moved to Zihuatanejo, a fishing village on the coast
And jumped for joy at the running water (the thing I'd missed the most).
Little things about this place were different from back home
And each day brought surprises that we never could have known.
The helicopters overhead, machine guns in the street,
Their presence meant to reassure but making my heart beat.
The paper guys shouting 'bout the latest beheadings,
Music drifting through the air from the neighbors' weddings.
The lions that they drag through town to advertise the circus,
Megaphones on top of cars to announce things sure to shock us.
Some things seemed more natural than anything back home
And the relaxed nature soon seemed like the only thing I'd known.
Sure, I had my moments when I'd wish things weren't so slow,
But then I'd watch the sunrise and be glad I had nowhere to go.
In Mexico it's assumed that you'll be an hour or two late,
But no one gets upset—you kiss hello and grab a plate.
A funny thing is that most Mexicans are really short,
And for the first time in my life I'm considered average, not a dwarf.
I discovered that my DC driving skills prepared me well,
I can be speedracer and no one yells to go to hell.
On weekends the hotels put on cool fireworks displays
That we watch from our living room while wearing our pjs.
And then there's Owen—how could I not mention our little pup,
Who came into our lives the day we lost the King of Pop.
He filled a void that I was sure might never be replaced
And brought a joy into our lives that'll never be erased.
Despite this newfound happiness I still felt at a loss
And longed to live where I could rediscover my purpose.
I made a choice that's proved to be the hardest in my life—
I'm leaving Mexico without him whom makes me a wife.
Over the past month I've really tried to appreciate this town
And soak in all the things I'll miss when I am not around:
The trickling sound the cobblestones make when you drive atop the bricks,
Being surprised when I look outside and see a giant ship.
The fruit, the bread, the cheese, the fish,
The fish. Did I mention the fish?
The molé enchiladadas that my husband makes so well,
The frozen-fruit paletas you have to inhale before they melt.
Sunday nights in the plaza when we run into our friends,
That quiet calm in the evening when the music finally ends.
The early mornings as the sun's rays stretch across the sky,
The lazy days spent lounging in a hammock with my guy.
For he's the thing I'll miss the most when I say adios,
I have no words… right now this is the way our story goes.
Adios... Thank you for sharing this journey with me.