Madrid by Jennifer Lagier


by Jennifer Lagier

Policía wear blue uniforms, twirl submachine guns,
form a mandatory reception line leading to the terminal
where I’m divested of purse and belt, subjected to a full body scan.

In the bullet train coach car, passengers sit, two by two.
An attendant pushes a squeaky cart down the narrow aisle,
dispenses espresso, newspapers, travel advice.

Green fields, leafless vineyards, graffitied concrete flash by.
A gravel-voiced matron shouts “Hola!” conducts impassioned conversations
at high decibel throughout the trip on her oversized phone.

In Madrid, civil guardsman, chunky vans on every corner.
Mimes and street performers command crammed plazas,
banter with tourists, beg for attention, coins and applause.

Crowds surround cathedrals, museums, the Prado where young soldiers swarm.
I migrate from bistro to café, finally an umbrella table beside park kiosk,
sip sparkling wine among pink blossoming trees in a demilitarized zone.

PHOTO: Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain by Don Falcone, used by permission. 

NOTE:  Museo del Prado is located in central Madrid. Founded in 1819 as a museum of paintings and sculpture, the Prado Museum is one of the most visited sites in the world, and considered one of the greatest art museums in the world. The collection currently includes around 8,200 drawings, 7,600 paintings, 4,800 prints, and 1,000 sculptures, in addition to many other works of art and historic documents. Works by Francisco GoyaHieronymus BoschEl GrecoPeter Paul RubensTitian, and Diego Velázquez, are some of the highlights of the collection.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Lagier has published eighteen books. Her work appears in From Everywhere a Little: A Migration Anthology, Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, Missing Persons: Reflections on Dementia, Silent Screams: Poetic Journeys Through Addiction & Recovery. Her newest book is Camille Comes Unglued (Cyberwit). Forthcoming is Meditations on Seascapes and Cypress (Blue Light Press). Visit her at

PHOTO: The author in Madrid, Spain. 

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