Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Dead of Terlingua

photo © Mark Butkus 2016
The cemetery at Terlingua, Texas.

The dead of Terlingua
call out to me
from under
weathered, wooden crosses
as I carefully tiptoe
between their souls
and the candles left behind
to remember them
from past Días de los Muertos.

They call out to me
through the centuries
begging not to be forgotten,
that death is far more everlasting
than the brief light of life

Buddhist flags remind that
Gonzo Mark Lemke exists on another level.
Don Smith, "held in the arms of my desert
assuredly rests in peace."
Joee May Barnes and Markus P. Irwin
were both taken away too soon,

There's a leprechaun over
Patrick Kim Reilly's grave.
Empty beer bottles celebrate
the lives of Edward Harlan Perrenot
and old Frosty himself — Thomas A. Frost.

One woman sheds a tear
over the grave of Graciana Ortiz
an ancestor that she now
embraces as her own
as this is where her people
began the journey
that now leads to her tears.


— Mark Butkus