A Remembrance of Eugene Martinez by Jose Eduardo Najera de Ledesma

 

I
remember November

And the day, and the cold fog clinging to my cheeks.

It
was the day the black cars were waiting

With their headlights glowing,

The
day the people were treading slowly

From the white and silent chapel.

Then
Eugene came.

He was emerging into the vague light of the fog,

Floating silently in his bed of flowers,

Now
beyond danger,

Beyond
pain and memory,

Beyond
the sounds of his mother weeping.

I
remember that day,

And the slow moving headlights gliding past my
vantage,

And the cold damp air dripping

Down
my collar.

I
followed quietly.

There
was no sound save the crunch

Of gravel as I stepped, no sight but the white light

Of the covered sun.

I
could not see his new home.

There
was no sight of the priest

Hypnotized in prayer,

No
sight of the mother pleading for a second chance.

No
sight of the two boys who grabbed him

And beat him until his life gushed out.

I
remember that day

In November, of 1974, when they found him

Under the bridge

As
cold as the season’s dirt beneath him,

The
moment he was made sightless,

soundless, unhearing;

the
moment he was trapped forever

by
the darkness.

And
I remember how they found him.

He was sprinkled with sawdust, silent and still.

His skin was white in the light bath

Of
the street lamp.

Two
boys were captured.

They were ten and twelve.

They
followed Eugene.

They
followed his skipping.

They
followed him quietly,

Out
of his field of vision,

Following the money held tightly in his hands,

And
the note to the grocer listing

Milk and eggs and bread.

The
two boys were captured.

They
found a board.

They
brought it down

And
down

And
down,

Until Eugene no longer cared.

I
remember Eugene.

I
remember.

I
remember how he turned his head whenever

I was speaking,

How
he must have thought that

Every word I spoke was truth.

He
asked me one time

“How
many things are there to know?”

I
stood there

Doubting the answers I could I could give him.

He
waited.

I
answered him quietly

Softly,
when I was certain that no one else could hear?

“How
many questions can you ask?”

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About jedwardnajera

I am a Poet. I live the life of a poet. I am an artist, a member of Gallery 9 in Los Altos, California. I published a novel Nena the Fairy and the Iron Rose, available through Amazon Books. I spent over thirty five years in a classroom. My father kept a living record of his lifetime as he lived through the Twentieth Century. He was born in 1908 and almost lived long enough to see us enter the new millennium. He was a mechanical engineer and had a wonderful love of history and science. He entrusted to me nearly 400 pages that he wrote through the years. He wrote in Spanish and I have spent six months translating these pages into English. Now I am in the process of editing, rewriting, and revising them. I am trying to post a new entry or chapter each Friday. Check in on us at least once a week for the latest post.
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2 Responses to A Remembrance of Eugene Martinez by Jose Eduardo Najera de Ledesma

  1. This poem was first published nationally in 1993, check it out.

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