Running, running through the crowded San Isidro de El General
town square, awash in punishing heat and light,
and you just miss your bus, the only bus home,
now 55 Kilometers stare you in the face.
You buy a torta, a coke, find some shade
simply wisely naturally
you enjoy this little moment and accept your fate.
Without a nickel to your name, you will have to walk.
Moving through the locals, passing the small sad Borucas
you circle the stone cathedral
and find the road that follows the low flow Rio General.
You will cross its gravel pits and bridges, then head straight up
the east-side of the steep coast range, the red soil falling from cut banks
like blood on the land.
You will reach the crest and keep going
dropping down through the jungle, to the Pacific
and travel 20 K more,
past sparkling Dominical and the hammerhead ceviche stands
across the sweltering palm plantations
to your cinder block room and your loving Tico family.
So off you go, as slowly and unconcerned as a little burro,
a dirty backpack across your shoulders, sandals
your sun-bleached hair bobbing behind you in a messy bun,
one kilometer, two…
in a cloud of dust a pickup truck pulls over,
You climb in and laugh, a friend of a friend.