"When in the Cemetery of Indians and Mexicans"
by R. J. Spring
I sat beside Maria Rosa
But it was only her rock.
And above her head was a crown of flowers
And below her a linen frock.
Her skin, I expect, is like a bone
Her yellow broken teeth, a grin.
Her eyes wide open, cheek bones high,
And her soul far from within.
Her long, black wild hair is braided up,
Her toes are curled in her woven feet.
Her hands folded in a grim caress,
Rotting Tehuana, attends the Holy Meet.
The wind blows corn meal scent and sand
Across me as I sit and feel--
Behind me lies an Indian man
Who's body is a leather'd peel.
Whose brow is beaded with cyan,
Whose mouth is tight and wise,
Wrapped in a blanket of his clan--
As dusty as the red sunrise.
Whose eyes are puddles in his head,
Whose feathers point above him,
I wondered at this Native man--
And if Maria loved him.
Perhaps they danced for the rain,
Perhaps they gardened the rose-red,
Perhaps their kin did not accept,
Perhaps that's how they wound up dead.