Pilgrimage to Cuba, New Mexico
by Lenora Rain-Lee Good

I hear the clang
of metal on metal
inside the small gas station
parked between the desert
and blazing hot Cuba. I do the
"I gotta pee really, really bad"
dance as I enter the dark building.

Barely glancing at me, he
points to the restrooms. I catch
the perfume of hot bread
pause long enough
even in my agony
to ask, "Do I smell fry bread?"
He nods, takes my order.
I dash to the Ladies room.

I return as he grabs the bottle
of honey. He is shocked
when I ask him to leave it off.
"I have a long drive ahead,"
I offer by way of explanation.

He does not understand this old
Catawba, but the customer
is always right—even when she
is so obviously wrong.

He gets a smile and a tip.
I get a shy grin from a most
handsome Navajo Warrior as
he hands me the best
fry bread I've ever eaten.

He doesn't know
I drove more than a
thousand miles for this.

First published: In Transit: Poetry of People on the Move, Fall, 2014

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