Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Haunting Face

For several weeks he would appear each day at my elbow when I sat in the plaza after Spanish class. His expression never changed nor did he ever utter a word. A refugee from Guatemala in Mexico, there was no schooling for him, only this kind of mute begging. I took to buying us both lunch and he would eat slowly, his shoulder almost but not quite touching my elbow. His face wore the traces of brutality: the bruising across the nose and eyes, too many scars on such a young face.

Soon before I left, I took this picture. Tears had left uneven stains on his cheeks. On my last day, I said ,"Adios", I stroked his cheek and stuffed pesos in his hands. I thought I saw the ghost of a question in his eyes but perhaps not.

In time I forgot him until this week when I was asked if his picture could be used in the work of a friend. He would be a young man today and I can't imagine his life without shuddering.


Jojo said...

Each of us are so blessed and so many times we are too busy to realized how blessed we are. Just looking at his sweet bruised face reminds me to give of my time, pray for others and to slow down to notice those in need who many times are in our paths. We are just too busy or preoccupied to notice.

Kate G. said...

That photo is absolutely haunting.