Upon Don Agustin's Leaving Durango, Mexico 1894

Doug Shy

and where are your steel-toed boots, mi capitán?

now that the village bells no longer thrum,

libertad dulce, enchanting the sky,

and the bugles' sharp trilling has been overcome

by the rough sour smell of your own peasants' toil

and the commonplace gossip of their tired plows

and where are your white prancing steeds, mi general?

now that their dung would be valued as gold.

the streets here are parlors of dust and regret,

and los niños, they flicker like rain spotted coals.

their whispering play at a halt from the scent

of a watery soup, which they drink through the nose.

and who tends the graveyards, mi liberator?

your ruminant legions, they dig up the stones,

the wooden queridos, the chipped corazones,

to use for their out-houses, fences, and homes.

their withered flesh, shivering from sins of demand,

admits to its avarice, dreams of repose.

and you, 

mi campeón, 

with your high collar and white sleeves

ride on