The rides arrived by truck caravan several days ago. Workers began immediately to transform one end of the parking lot at Plaza México into a carnival.
Tonight, the carnival opens. As darkness descends on the second-largest city in Mexico, workers will flip some switches, and the Ferris wheel, and a dozen other rides, will come to life, arrayed with thousands of dazzling lights.
In one of his poems, Mexican poet Luis Cotto-Vasallo speaks of being “Instantly transplanted/ to the amazement of us all.”
That’s what carnivals do. They transplant us—to our amazement—out of the everyday world of bills and bitterness, longing and loss, into a world of wonder and delight, if only for an hour or two.
Even though my apartment is several blocks away from Plaza México, I won’t be surprised to hear children shrieking for joy, and adults laughing with abandon, as the carnival works its magic.
Little brown sparrow,
even crows stop their squabbling
when you start to sing.
Text and photo © 2017 by Mark M. Redfearn, all rights reserved