Barrio de Santa Cruz In Spain the rain falls mainly in the mountains and the pain is on display in the streets. Like any Ohio boy, the first time a gypsy holds out her hand I shake it. Watch your wallet, I learn. Never look a beggar In the eye. The mother gives her child a cardboard sign, soy una pobre niña, shows her how to expose one bare foot beneath a shawl full of holes, slaps her to make her cry. The child is quick to sort the tossed coins, gathering the larger ones out of sight then resuming the lost look her mother taught her works best, but today she is shivering in the cold, a more effective look her skin will not forget nor her freezing bones when she is a woman grown, teaching her poor daughter how to beg in the street.
William Heath has published two poetry books, The Walking Man and Steel Valley Elegy, with a third, Going Places, forthcoming in the spring; a chapbook, Night Moves in Ohio; three novels: The Children Bob Moses Led (winner of the Hackney Award), Devil Dancer, and Blacksnake’s path; a work of history, William Wells and the Struggle for the Old Northwest (winner of two Spur Awards); and a collection of interviews, Conversations with Robert Stone. His website is www.williamheathbooks.com