¿Algo Más Señora?

POETRY section header.

¿Algo Más Señora?

by Suzanne Doerge | Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Algo Mas Señora poem, picture of sandwich.
A humble bocadillo made of bread, ham, and cheese, is among the simple staples of pilgrim fare. Between Pontedeume and Miño on the Camino Inglés, August 2023. Photo by Amy Horton.


If you ran a village restaurant in a house built 
400 years ago, with stone-framed windows 
welcoming in the sun                       

under a low ceiling of hand-hewn chestnut beams 
clutching a vine that took 16 years 
to grow across them

all to the sound of bells ringing from an 
800-year-old belfry, next to a roman bridge 
that has offered passage for nearly 2000 years

you would never be in a hurry 
to make my sandwich.


To the resonance of violins, he solemnly slices 
the cheese and ham, devoutly cleans the blade

hungry peregrinos bow their heads
in the doorway, approach  
the counter on either side of me

he anoints with oil the oven-warm bread
and graces with lettuce, pickles and tomatoes 

I glance over my shoulders to make sure 
the newly arrived know this is my sandwich

he christens with spices planted, nurtured and 
harvested from his fecund fields

on this race to the sacred, peregrinos mumble: 
gotta get going to get a bunk for night

he glides his hand across the counter
to select the perfect knife

peregrinos shuffle their feet, look at 
their watches, consider their options

he pauses the blade at the preordained angle
and places the sacrament on a plate 
just as the concerto reaches its diminuendo.

Having finally forgotten why I would be in a rush,
he looks up, to rest his eyes in mine, 
¿Algo más Señora?

Editor’s note: This poem is from Doerge’s collection, Footfalls: Poems of the Camino (Shanti Arts Publishing, 2022). Find a review of that collection in the Winter 2023 issue of La Concha. Doerge’s poems “Village Square,” “Fields of Wheat,” and “Delight,” which are also part of that collection, were published in the Summer 2022, Autumn 2023, and Winter 2024 issues of La Concha, respectively.

More Poetry in La Concha