Playing Dead

There are those who complain
of caravans ferrying crowds
of costumed kids to other people’s
neighborhoods, but that’s tradition.
When the Pope adopted Samhain
with bonfires to honor the saints
did anyone protest, crying
“anaculturism?” It’s all in play,
the candy skulls, the flowery arch,
the music to raise the dead; a party
“un poco loco.” Who says
dead mariachis won’t drink
the Spaniards’ sangria?
Who says don’t dance salsa
by the Chinese friendship gate?
Remember having fun?
It’s the treat
and the trick.

I have to admit that I can be pretty judgmental about cultural appropriateness. I felt slightly guilty when my Colombian sisters-in-law and I dressed in sombreros and ponchos and celebrated Halloween as “Las Tres Amigas.”
This year, I tried a different costume. I may have looked like myself, but I celebrated the Day of the Dead as an open-minded, fun-loving person.


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