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The Procession



Led by a mule-drawn wagon

carrying the elderly,

it moves toward the cemetery

like a dark, turgid river

glinting here and there

with tinsel and little candles.

Irene and Helga walk behind

the wagon, clad in black dresses,

smiling beneath their masks of skulls.

The children are laughing,

rattling toy caskets and skeletons,

their cheeks smeared with the icing

of sugar skulls.  In joyous

solemnity, the living walk,

erasing with each, sure step

the specious border between life

and death.  Laden with food,

incense, mementoes, blood-red roses,

and flickering candles, they walk,

followed by children clutching

pots of marigolds glowing

in the incipient darkness

like armloads of harmless fire.






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Larry D. Thomas

Los Días de los Muertos

(Big Bend area, far West Texas





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