I pass the corner stand where the lady selling drinks and candies, the one who used to announce me: The güera is eating a sandwich, etc., instantly recognizes me. This time she announces: ¡Que milagro!

The mesero at the café: “Que milagro.”

At the stand in Llano Park, one man barks, “Tacos de arrachera, costilla, carnitas.” Another says, “Que milagro,” noting that I have returned. Then he asks, “Cuantos tacos quieres? How many tacos do you want?” I smile at his use of the familiar form, and I promise to return when I have unloaded my vegetables because, after all, it is Taco Friday.

I think about this expression and how I don’t feel like I have made a miraculous return at all. This is what I do. When I have run out of semester, I head south and teach some more.

In the library, I overhear a man who has been battling a slow cancer, tumors invading his whole body, for eight years. Que milagro. He has plans to buy a television, to slow down and take it easy; doctors tell him he has less than a year left. He tells this as plainly as I tell you now that the weather here is 72F/22C and cloudy. Tomorrow the rain will come. ¡Que milagro!


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