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As she adorns the sugar skulls

with pink, green, and purple icing,

Irene selects the most promising

for his name.  She will write it

in flowing, purple cursive,

remembering how he tutored her

in all things Mexican; the Aztecs,

Mayans, Toltecs, the Blue House

of Frida and Diego, the pyramids,

and the flaming murals of Los

tres grandes: Orozco, Siqueiros

and Rivera.  The love of her life,

he visits her often in thought and spirit.

She still hears the creaking wheels

of the mule-drawn wagon

bearing his casket: the alternate

laughing and sobbing of his friends

and loved ones half-drunk on tequila,

ambling behind the wagon to his grave

to celebrate his life as they took turns

shoveling Mother Desert over his casket,

returning him to the only Mother

he ever knew.  When dawn breaks,

Irene will walk to his gravesite

and ready it for his imminent visit.






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Larry D. Thomas

Los Días de los Muertos

(Big Bend area, far West Texas





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