I have lost my sense of humor…

I am hoping it is misplaced 
among the orphaned socks, 
in one of the bags in the upstairs
closet, or with the bottle lids,
in the cookie tin from France
which is all that remains from Louis-Marie’s 
visit; it may be on my gardening table,
outdoors with the soil and the shards
of broken pots, awaiting the end 
of interminable winter, 
ready to bloom with the azaleas
and the phalaenopses, 
or in the file where my students’
hopeful composiciones 
await grading. 

It would not be permanently gone;
I misplace but rarely lose things;
it has been a faithful companion
through sleet, accidents, 
the death of a parent, friends, 
a betrayal by this or that one,
the day I entered the hut in Bahía Kino
where the women were making hamacas;
the small boy was inside in a wheelchair-
Mercedita told me they cannot afford
the medical care that might make him better;
he sits in the dark and listens to the radio,
there are always rancheras playing in the morning,
Verónica told me her hermana is working 
for the compañía; the four dollars per day
is enough for basic food and transportation;
the companies have triple shifts and bring back
the goodies that we need for our negocios,
labels in all shapes and file folders in all the colors
of the rainbow; I remember it was with me 
because I laughed when Carmencita told me 
a joke about gringos and shepherds;
it came with me into Arizona, 
despite the vigilantes searching
for the ilegales; it was waving in the evenings 
out in Crawford, Texas, it was first missing in action
on the holidays, so much food and family 
rejoicing, a fake Colgate smile for the friends 
and children, it is somewhere 
in the vegetable crisper, with the green peppers 
and the romaine lettuce,
or in the garage, with last year’s slogans…

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