The Day of the Dead

The candle-sellers have set out their wares. Soon
it will be time to visit the graves of our dead.
Imagine how brightly lit this year’s graveyards will be
with fresh graves dug for hundreds killed every day.

On Monday we’ll visit the graves of our dead
armed with buckets and gallons of whitewash. We’ll pass
fresh graves dug for those who’ve been murdered. Day after day.
their pictures wind up on the news: a bullet to the head,

arms twisted; blood on the streets no whitewash can mask.
The killers, in tandem, wear masks; they motor away. Only
the victims’ pictures wind up on the news: felled by a bullet
at close range, none stand a chance. Most grievous of all,

the children that killers, in tandem, have felled. Collateral
damage
, they’re called: & students, housewives, grandfathers
all shot at close range. How could they stand a chance? The year
inches forward toward its dark close. Uneasy in the cold,

dark-shawled like the Fates, the candle-sellers set out their wares.

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