Ay, ay, ay,
I sing every night.
"Mr. Mary-achee," says a little voice.
Señor Mariachi, I respond, fixing her español.
"Seenyor Maree-achee," (trying to sound like me--her papí)
"Can you play me a song?"
Sí, senorita. ¿What canción?
"America the Beautiful."
Chiquita, that's not a song for me. Tell me one that a mariachi sings.
"But I don't know any, Mr. Mary-achee."
Sí, yo sé hija. . . . I turned away, tears in my eyes, I know daughter. Yo sé.
The Mariachi, También: Hija
My papí--he's the mary-achee
He plays guitar and sings
He wears a big sombrero and pants--both black with pretty red and yellow
"Play me a song," everyone says.
So I did, too.
A song--I thought and thought. Then I remembered the one from school, "America the Beautiful."
He cried and told me it's not a canción for him--a mary-achee.
I don't know why he cries. . . . I don't know a song for a mary-achee.
The Mariachi, Tercero
He plays me every night
Strumming his fingers over my strings
Plucking and picking, making the right sounds.
He sings, too.
A mariachi always does.
The beautiful music we make together, his hija does not know.
She sits and listens to the canciones, but still she does not know.
"America the Beautiful!"--he's never played that on my strings
Canciones--Celito Lindo, Alla en el Rancho Grande y El Rey . . . these are the songs of a mariachi
These canciones his hija does not know
And with her proper English and poor español, she never will.
¡Hasta la proxíma vez!