, May 24, 2024

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Undas/Dia de Muertos

  •   1 min read
Undas/Dia de Muertos
Painting by Manuel Baldemor
By Marne L. Kilates

Recent leave-takings still hurt many,
The pages of social media are full of obits:
A distant cousin here, a friend’s friend there
But the worst are those whose familiar love
Still bind us but was suddenly cut by fate―
Accident or illness, the call of the void.
The darkness of the void is what we would
Erase with light, in our Undas of rice cakes
And melted candles, gin and pulutan
Over the nicho and tombstones, cleaned
Of the year’s growth of talahib and bramble,
The marble lapidas shiny: How quaint
And comforting the candlelight and bright-
Colored candies: Perhaps we could say
Our colonial relatives from halfway ‘round
The world share our half-macabre, half-nostalgic
Revelry: In the Dia de Muertos we are
Nangangaluluwa with Mexico: By way
Of the Galleon Trade, the radiant cloak
Of Our Lady of Guadalupe, we skip a step or
Two with the marching mariachi,
In the taruk of our corrido, in their comparsa
Or paso doble: For our dead we make a toast,
We sing haranas among the grinning calaveras.

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