Padre Felipe was laid to rest in the Camposanto.
He was a good man – from just over the mountain.
Not far – He knew this place. He was one of us.
Time passes slowly and he was never in a hurry.
We came to this place, our families did, long ago.
How many generations after three hundred years?
We know the names. They, too, are in the Camposanto.
Many still live among us but our numbers are few.
Old family names are remembered there. A few new ones.
The Costa and Lopez people lie quietly together
but they never got along. Nobody remembers why.
There are a lot of stories like that.
Maria Galvez, she was really a Vigil, is all by herself.
She was married three times. She had one daughter
who married and moved to Santa Fe, in 1922, we think.
Roberto was killed in the war – it’s a long, sad story.
The Romeros always had the best sheep in the valley.
The Luceros were weavers – Antonio was the best.
If you needed anything fixed, always go see a Torres.
The best carpenters were always Medinas or Cortes
Amalia Gomez was the best baker when I was growing up.
She only had boys but taught Rosa, her daughter-in-law
(Pepito’s wife) how to bake. That Pepito had a bad
heart attack and couldn’t work much so the baking helped.
Things are a little different now. We travel farther
and we need more things than we used to. We got by
with very little when I was young. There is a WalMart
in Taos and some of us can even get stuff from Amazon.
Young people started moving away twenty years ago,
but now some come back with their own families.
We see new faces and think “Is that maybe a Lucero?
Oh, maybe that is Gilberto’s boy, Devin”.
They all turned out at the Camposanto today.
Young and old were there for Padre Felipe.
He was laid next to Padre Estevan, who rebuilt
the church. That young Father Roy did the service.
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The Home Place – 2019