Mystery of Marigolds



A rainbow splits into tribal patterns

as I meld into the crowd of huipils.

Me, wearing my multi-pocketed

khaki travel  vest and a hidden

money belt.  Practical walking

shoes for uneven pavement.


Chichicastenago market place.

Vendors pursue, offering trinkets,

and won’t take “no.”

One wag of the index finger,

the Guatemala finger,

would dismiss pursuit.

Layers of copal and bodies,

intoxicate.  I drift into the dim light

of colorful specialty tents.

A chicken reads my fortune.

I buy a leering Mayan mask.


Copal lures me toward four hundred

year old Iglesia Santo Tomas.

Eighteen steps,

crowded with tourists and beggars.

I step into silence of the temple,

now a church and the rush

of marigolds strewn on the floor

brighter than the sun,

a sparkle in Virgin Mary’s eye.

Marigolds, copal and peace.