He had been driving south.
South on I-29.
They say he lost control.
Lost control while passing a semi.
He was young.
Not even thirty yet.
His mother had a little bakery.
It was just across the bridge.
She had been a teacher down in Mexico.
His father had been a cop.
Now he helped out at the bakery.
They made the usual stuff.
Pastries for the hot chocolate.
Bread for the tortas.
Cakes for the weddings.
The highway patrol found their son in a ditch.
His hand was clutching his rosary.
The rosary usually hung on his rearview mirror.
He must have grabbed it
at the last moment.
The moment before he crashed.
I met his wife and baby at the wake.
I hugged his mother.
I hugged his father.
I hugged his brother.
His brother told me of the rosary.
And how the highway patrolman,
had seen his brother
clutching the rosary.
And now the rosary was missing.
Was it lost at the crash scene?
Was it slowly sinking in to the ground?
Was it taken by someone?
A momento of the tragedy.
Is it hidden in a box somewhere?
Does it still resonate with his last thoughts?
After the funeral there was a lunch.
A lunch at his aunt's house.
She is a photographer.
She is at all the weddings.
She is at all the first communions.
And now she buries her nephew.
And the lunch was a time to connect.
A time to affirm life.
A time to remember.
I still remember the smells of that house.
Chicken mole and warm tortillas.
And I still remember his bright eyes.