The baby’s casket


OUR NEIGHBORHOOD abuts the highway down the mountain to the state capital. If you get on that highway, drive about a quarter-mile, you’ll encounter a small settlement. Turn right there and go up a block or two.

You’ll spot it on the left. That is, if it’s open at the hour you pass. It’s a small, very basic funeral parlor. Occasionally, it’s closed. I know this because I sometimes come back to the Hacienda from downtown via a back route that takes me through that small settlement that only has one major street.

When the funeral parlor is open they often put a baby’s casket in the doorway. Come here, it cries out, if your child has died, something that likely is more common in Mexico than above the Rio Bravo.

I find this small coffin’s prominent display touching, poignant and a number of like-minded adjectives. I don’t recall ever seeing such a display as this when I lived above the border, which was most of my long life. But I’ve seen it in Mexico a number of times in a number of places.

Babies should not die.