A Walk Through the Plaza de Armas

A foreigner disguised as a native,

I take in the beauty of the scenery

captured in pictures by tourists before me,

my hands grip the bulging sides of the purse

that hangs heavy over my shoulder—

heavy from the ungiven soles that clatter

against each other in sync to the clapping

hands of happy tourists to music

that will never reach the ears of the small boy

with cupped hands who’s begging

I dismissed the first day I arrived

in this strange beautiful land.



Government palace at the Plaza de Armas in Lima, Peru.


A foreigner disguised as a native,

they take in my long dark hair

that frames my tan skin and think—

she is one of us. Someday. But for now,

I admire the historic buildings,

the cobble stone streets, the dog wearing

a sweater with matching shoes, and the beautiful

bridge that crosses over into dusty foot trodden

paths that lead to the towering mountain

with the cross that overlooks the shanty towns,

the dog wearing his skin tightly over his bones,

and the begging boy with his hungry family.



Beautiful cobble streets that lead to historic buildings and shops around the area.


A view of the mountain landscape against the gorgeous historic buildings.


They overlook—I imagine—the distant

glittering city of Lima and the place

where I stand opposite the beautiful bridge

that separates the us from them,

the rich and poor,

and the foreigners from the true natives.



The bridge that crosses over from the Plaza de Armas to the shanty towns and mountains beyond.


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Filed under Isabel in Peru, south america

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