Para el Día de los Inocentes

504769422_7f6b03f977_oYou did not recognize that small things grow;
Before you could, the sickness in your bones
Grew large in hunger, swallowing you whole.

Should it be said you lived, who never tasted breath?
I cannot know; perhaps you can,
Who are so intimate with Death.

In Her dry land where all must come at last,
I cannot know, but hope you are at rest.


By tradition today, the first day of November, is Día de los Inocentes; tomorrow will be Día de los Muertos. The photograph here has nothing in particular, but everything in general, to do with Día de los Inocentes: it depicts statuettes of Jizō, who in Buddhist lore is a protector of pregnant women and children, and especially of dead children and of infants miscarried, aborted, or stillborn. (He also, for reasons of his own, takes particular care of travelers and firemen.) In folk-tales, Jizō hides the children within his robes to protect them from demons as he guides them to the afterworld. In cemeteries and temples, one often sees effigies of the bodhisattva dressed up in child’s clothing.

Image: Jizō at Hachiman gu, Kamakura, by Flickr user Miguel Martin, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) license.

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