On the Day of the Dead

A poem by Kenneth Salzmann originally published on Antiphon.


This is the day we welcome the not-yet-dead.

They come to our crypts or graves to bury us

beneath armfuls of marigolds, to dine with us

on candied pumpkin, pan de muerto, sugar

skulls, jars of atole. They make a resting place

of the cold, packed earth at the base of flowery

ofrendas. With copal incense and seashell rattles,

with Catrinas and calaveras said to honor us,

the living-still struggle to carve in stone or custom

a wedge between themselves and us.

Kenneth Salzmann is a writer and poet who lives in Woodstock, NY, and Ajijic, Mexico. His poetry has appeared in Riverine: An Anthology of Hudson Valley Writers, Beloved on the Earth: 150 Poems of Grief and Gratitude, Rattle, The New Verse News, The Comstock Review, and elsewhere. He can be contacted at kensalzmann@gmail.com

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