Tomorrow Triumphant

POLICE JAIL
I
The police jail in my country
is colored martyr grey
and winter grey.
The cry of suffering
has sounded against time
and against the hate
inside its walls,
but alongside the anguish of the people.

It’s a frontier of poison thorns.
The man of the people
know it
and rebels against it,
because there,
for many years,
the poor man’s voice was battered,
the flower of his  dreams was tortured,
and a lonely tower of laments
and bitter lilies
was raised up by the pride
of the hangman.

The police jail in my country
is, in truth, dismal.

The unfolding of so many hopes
was broken there.
Many men died
holding the obsence of food and their children
in the sweet hollows
of thier hands.
They died on schedule,
holding on tight in their tortured delirium
to a warm landscape of corn
and thinking of the birds
flying
freely through the blue sky
of Guatemala.

II

Oh ... how painful
it is to have to speak of all this!

But the police jail
in my country
invades the land
of clear
laughter,
raises its hand
of terrifying ivy
into the heart
of the wind
and dirties
our clean dialogue with life.
That’s how the people know
its color is grey
and so sad.

III

That’s why children run from policemen,
accusing them with their simple fear.

That’s why the people's point out the jail,
spitting with hate.

  • trans. by Stephen Kessler