Saturday, December 7, 2013


Descansos of Aztlán

Somebody died… right HERE.
By the edge of the road
Where the make-shift memorial
Stands proud and prominent

Like a  road stop sign warning

That spirits still linger here
Like morning dew between the
Sun-baked silent stones.  You

Cannot  miss the pleading

Arms of the mandatory 
Wooden cross flanked by wilted
Flowers, tear-stained photographs

Love letters and rosaries 

Neatly placed next to a thorn-
Crowned Jesus and La Virgen
De Guadalupe -mother of
Gods, moon, and southern stars

At whose feet is a scattering

Of home-spun retablos filled 
With personal mementos,
Teddy bears and blood-red hearts.

Inquisitive walkers stop

And curious drivers slow down
Their dark eyes move to and fro
Yearning to be noticed but
Not heard whispering:
                                     Was it too much drinking?
 A drive-by? 
                       The expected heart attack?
                                                    A lovers’ quarrel? 
ICE?       NSA?      FBI? 
                    Unemployed and economically deprived?
   Or, maybe… just maybe… 
                                              A freak accident?

Dead silence –as always

Eventually sets in… but
Is quickly interrupted
By the murmur of short-lived

Prayers hovering like downy

Feathers that ride the mystic
Wind whirling high above
The hailed holy shrine…

Like prison-camp survivors

The spectators move on
But not before the sign
Of the cross is tweaked and

You can distinctly hear 

The beat –in unison
Of a loud and clear:
Que descanse en paz…Que descanse en paz…

© November  2013 jjméndez

Photos by jjméndez: Descansos found in the streets of  Santa Fe, NM

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