• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 11

La Muerte

I will keep your baby safe beneath my red cloak
Go! Fear not! The day is young, the journey long
The path rugged beside the precipitous drop
Be careful daughter, watch for thieves at the pass
They will rob you of your purpose, steal your purse

Ha! I wish that I were there to see their faces first
I that would spit phlegm between their evil eyes
Bray like a burro angry at the first hint of dawn
Shriek like the condors with deathly angels’ wings
To meet me would be as if the gods had woken

But alas! These gnarled and godforsaken knees
A prisoner of me make, no youthly vigour is left
To scale the shadowy peaks of Sierra Madre del Sur
To look out on the deep blue yonder that stretches
As far as my watery, world-weary, eyes would see

Quick girl! The time of your child has nearly passed
Her spirit has ventured into the vulture’s domain
She needs the hand and sacred words of the priest
To carry her where we will one day rest our heads
And embrace eternity in the arms of our ancestors

You were the youngest, a fighter born and bred
‘El niño fuerte’ we called you, the strong child
Unlike this poor thing I shelter beneath my cloak
As dead as a dog in the gutter, as cold as winter
Hurry! I wait my lifetime beside this prickly pear


La Muerte

My wife nearby, my god calling for me, for her
For you and your child and the man that left you
All of us! Your brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles
We are all being summoned, we are all sinners
Waiting for the shroud of death to cloak our eyes