Dia de Los Muertos

Sprinkled sunshine doses of vigor
this morning as I walk the Green Lake path.

Day of the Dead makes altars of trees.
Pageant of birdsong. Insect nibbles a leaf.
Bird nibbles insect. Raptor snags a Beswick’s Wren.

The observant coxswain motions left toward a nest
now fallen in agua.
Deep green agua riffled by oars makes a “V”
like a gaggle of geese splitting the sky.
Each buoy a sugared skull bobbing gently, slowly melting
like an iceberg receding in silt.

Take my father off the altar,
put him in a shell and he would glide
to leave me better memory.

My dead mother never learned to drive.
Never learned to swim.
I see her tread agua
while smiling at a gliding altar.

My daughter crewed
this same lake for years and now her son
heads to practice in a salty bay near their home.

It is as if this lake I circle is a dreamscape of altars:
lavender asters, bitter blackberries, graffiti on a bulkhead,
Vitamin C infused rosehips,
nesting coots draped by willow leaves,
and three dozing mallards in a line along the beach.
Altars everywhere. Mothers wearing fleece and sunglasses
circle the lake pushing strollers with their little shelf altars
of tossed aside baby shoes and pacifiers.
I remember
how the the laurel, the oak, birch, katsura, and elm
signal this cambio. All this change before my eyes
as maple leaves lose their green and then fall as predicted.

I look up into blue morning sky
as remnants of a three-quarter moon hover overhead.

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