Conned in Cancun

The taxi is parked in a bus stop space
near a pay phone booth. The driver
holds the receiver in his hand
and when we stride within easy earshot,
he cries out,“Oh, my poor wife,
my wife, ooohh…” his voice,
an exemplar of abject misery.

As we draw abreast of him,
he places the receiver back on its hook,
turns to us with hand out and asks us
for a dollar. I know we are being conned,
but I reach into my pocket
for a loonie anyway and then realize
I am not carrying American bills,
or Canadian money at all, only pesos.

I scrounge my pocket,find a coin
and give it to him. Five pesos.
His lack of enthusiasm ambushes me,
at least until we have passed him by
and he has climbed back into his vehicle
with my less than generous offering.
That’s when I realize what a pittance
five pesos is to a taxi driver,
doing his best to survive a recession,
here on this over-built sand spit
in an absence of the usual tourist throng.

~ Glen Sorestad

Glen Sorestad is a well known Saskatoon poet who has published widely all over North America and elsewhere. Over 20 volumes of his poems have been published, most recently Road Apples(Rubicon Press, 2009) and What We Miss(Thistledown, 2010). His poems have appeared in over 50 anthologies and textbooks, as well as having been translated into a half-dozen languages. Most recently, in March of this year, he performed his poetry with the Dennis Borycki Trio in Oklahoma.

Read more of Glen Sorestad’s poetry:
Lost and Found
Woman in Doorway
Water Voices

One Response to “Conned in Cancun”

  1. I don’t know about the five pesos, but three stanzas are a prize in themselves, as long as they are writen by Glen.
    Thanks for yet one more example of his simple yet startling insight and presentation.

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