"Chicano writers from El Paso are the most progressive, open-minded, far-reaching, and inclusive writers of them all."

Octavio Romano

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Two Dia de los Muertos poems by Abelardo B. Delgado

Día de los muertos

Renacen los huertos,

también los muertos.

El día de los muertos

por siete minutos

podemos platicar

con los seres queridos fallecidos

I remember

tagging along

chasing my abuela

to el camposanto

to sell paper flowers

to make the somber tombs bright

That was back in Mexico

I was only seven years old.

Here in the U.S.

los muertos

are persona non gratas.

Here we do not wish

to hold dialogue

with los muertos

They remind us

we too

will eventually join them.

Here there is no luto

and there are no novenas

or puños de tierra

Here in the U.S.

the idea is to hide,

to ignore the dead

and to even avoid death

in our conversations.

in Mexico la muerte

is well known.

She’s la talaca, a feminine figure.

Our Puerto Rican

brothers and sisters

Call her “la flaca.”

Talking with the dead is necessary

to remind ourselves

to enjoy our lives

and not to go about

as if we already died

and no one said good-bye or cried.

By Ableardo B. Delgado

Chicanos and Death

The pinto bean

has always been

A close friend of death

Chicanos and la muerte

have carried on

a long intimate

r e l a t i o n s h i p.

They carry the pain

outside the skin,

they raise the chin

and go on

as if death

had the plague

and they were immunized.

El día de los


good grandmas will say,

-- makes us more

appreciative of life –

Chicanos do not allow

things that have meaning to die

they don’t allow love to die

Death for them

has a certain lust,

All else is dust

-- Abelardo B. Delgado.

1 comment:

Michele Rhodes said...

I greatly appreciate your articulation of your memories and what this holiday means to hispanos and how gringos think of death. Well-put. I'd like to read your 2 poems to my high school spanish I and II students if I may.
Michele Rhodes
Lisbon, Ohio