One Saturday night in nineteen thirty-nine
in a little pueblecito
down in South Texas
the ballroom doors of El Charro’s place
were left wide open
as the colorful sounds of Tejano music
pounded on the dirt floor.
Micaela spotted him for the first time
standing against the wall next to the bathrooms.
From a distance she turned
to show him her new dress
her mother had sewn the day before
white lace and pink
Felix wore shiny pointed boots
a beige shirt and brown pants loosely.
That night they had no time to dance or talk
only a few minutes to stare
her dark eyes flashed
as her parents led her out the door.
Several weeks later
at a wedding in the same ballroom
they met again
she noticed he was wearing the same
beige shirt and brown pants.
She had heard that his family
was even poorer than the rest of the Mexicans in town,
if that was any consolation.
“This is the one! ”
“Who would want to have twelve children”
“Want to move north to Wisconsin”
“Probably never have the chance to see my friends
or parents until I grow old”
she thought she saw it
in his piercing black eyes,
and when he smiled
“I do! ”