San Miguel de Allende,
February 12, 2017
Last Friday night I attended a Mexican performance of Madame Butterfly with a contemporary tweak. The moment “The Star-Spangled Banner” rose up in Puccini’s score, Lieutenant Pinkerton and the U.S. consul surprised us by donning a Make America Great Again cap and a pink Women’s March hat. The audience of Canadian and U.S. expats, along with the Mexican nationals, roared and everyone cheered even louder when Pinkerton threw his cap to the ground and gave it an aggressive kick off the stage.
In this moment in history what is a dual-citizen living in Mexico to do? Well, for one thing, speak up. Today, alongside native Mexicans, we marched in a demonstration called “Marchamos por México,” a gathering“demanding respect for all, independent of their nationality, migrant status, race, or religion.” Twenty marches across Mexico marched alongside us at the same time.
We were not as great as the number marching in Mexico City, but we here in San Miguel were emocionados by today’s march. Old hippies and young activists, women and men, Mexican and gringo alike marched together in the name of peace, in the name of respect, and bridge-building. I wanted to make a placard that said something witty. How to explain what I feel in a few words? As a poet, I cannot sum up the feeling of triumph and joy we feel here in Mexico today except to repeat our heartfelt chant: ¡Viva Mexico!
The march ended in front of the Parroquia de San Miguel, and folks sang the Mexican and the U.S. national anthem. I’ve heard the U.S. national anthem ever since I was a child, but never in my life has it made me weep like now.