Saturday, November 1, 2014

Life and Death

Ofrenda por la niña Marisol Nola.

On the road to El Aguacate
the dead sleep
next to their abuelos and primos.
A baby gone too soon,
A life lived a century ago,
watched over by Guadalupe,
under a palm tree,
next to a mountain of stone and sand
to warm them in their graves.

I've not been here for Día de los Muertos
but in Michoacán and Chiapas
music, food and cempasúchil flowers decorate the graves.
"There's a room for rent here. Cheap!"
a caretaker told us.
We laughed, nervously.
A space for me and you?
Maybe, someday,
after we've walked down more roads together.


— Teresa Puente


Día de los Muertos...Mexico's Day of the Dead is not just one day, it is two days. November 1 — All Saints' Day — is set aside for honoring the passing of children. The following day, departed adults are recalled.

Today, we remember the children through this poem by Teresa Puente and los niños brief time on Earth and in the womb.

Teresa Puente is a Professor of Journalism at Columbia College in Chicago and writes about Hispanic issues at Chicanisima. Ms. Puente also encourages Latina women to write and publish their own stories in Latina Voices.

Life and Death originally appeared in Take Two: Another Anthology of English Writing from the Costalegre and appears here with the author's permission.