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ÁNGELA TELLO (Colombia, 1959)

ÁNGELA TELLO (Colombia, 1959)

XXII

Farim, dear friend
Yesterday I saw the troops
They marched as an only man
And exhaled a cheap tobacco smell
That kept mosquitoes and beasts away.
On one swing
-close to a dance-
they moved forward under the drumbeat.
Rain was falling on the grass,
Choppers flew above our heads
And a range of screams emerged from the mountain.
There is a language learned in the din of battle,
Shouts of pain and of assault
Shouts of anger and helplessness
Melt, joined together,
The bond is war.

Yesterday I saw weavers and labourers too,
They sang together coming down the mountain,
Seeds were blossoming
Handloom fabrics embellished the village.
With white party dresses
They walked under the bright blue sky
And the dazzling green that flapped in the ambiance.
The weavers and the labourers who came down the mountain
stopped a moment to listen to the motor approaching,
the harsh sound silencing treble guitars
A freezing wind hit their faces,
The sky opened and fire fell over their heads
as if the gods had been disturbed.
I saw little white dots sinking in the plain
I saw burning houses coming down
I saw a village dying without knowing the meaning of their death.

The weavers and the labourers who survived the fire
Climb the mountain now,
Mourning songs follow their steps.
To avoid becoming salt statues
They decide to ignore the village they desert
Seeds are torn
Throws hang shattered over cracked roof tiles.

Farim, this is the war living in our realms.
A woman bears threads of a new handloom fabric in her hands
A boy tunes the old guitar’s strings,
A man picks up a handful of soil
The three of them restart the song.

Translation by Constanza Ariza Tello

Última actualización: 28/06/2018