Camposantos

all we have is our hands and a hole in god's earth
-federico garcia lorca

now
there is no one left to swaddle the acequias
if brown arms could reach out of this earth
they would

women in raven mantillas gather at noon
near the cusp of a chapel of heat-dried brick

above them the sun is a bowl
of mid-summer plums, blood-cerise turning
to purple, plucked from the sangre de cristos

amidst coyote fences and cast-iron railings,
locked cerquitas, wired once in old wicker,
each wife-mother caresses a marker wood

stakes born in stream bottom or splash-stone,
lip-reads words as muriĆ³ el dia or memoria

kisses her crown of thorns, a rose, a heart
star, dove pray for them madrecita maria
we come to honor what has been
yet cannot be again

under day-star-of-noon, laden with wild lilies,
we plant our people's proud history land sky

farm sisters of tecolote, mora, taos we bless
these holy fields basking in the pueblos' thrall
among these gardens of the dead luminescent
graves reflect lightning-on-silver slivers of God.

Andrea L. Watson's poetry has appeared in RUNES, The Comstock Review, Folio, Room of One's Own, Earth's Daughters, and The Dublin Quarterly, among others. Her show, Braided Lives: A Collaboration Between Artists and Poets, was inaugurated by the Taos Institute of Arts in 2003 and has traveled to San Francisco, Denver, and Berkeley. She is co-editor of HeartLodge: Honoring the House of the Poet.