NPD Anthology 2002

 

To Celebrate a Death:  For  Lorca
by Gary Blankenship


The day they shot the poet,
we danced around the fountain,
poured sour wine and drank
until the bookstalls flooded -
traitors to the people defeated.

He was warned of the new laws:
No more twisted metaphors,
coded similes, forbidden mysteries.
Only simple eulogies, jingles
and party slogans allowed.

Celebration lasted through the night,
sure we had cut away the diseased -
until we heard a lamb cry,
swallows return in spring,
wild lilies bloom along hedgerows.

As bull's blood soaks the arena floor,
the sound of ink on paper echoes.

(Federico Garcia Lorca was shot at dawn August 19, 1939 with two
bullfighters and a school teacher.  He was thirty-eight.)