September 30, 2020KR OnlinePoetryTranslation

Like a Flower

Translated from Spanish and Isthmus Zapotec by Wendy Call

An icy wind strikes my heart
some of those who came with me
                                      won’t return

All their dreams
were whipped by thirst
on the parched path

I couldn’t hold their hands
I couldn’t drag their feet
          and help them move a bit farther
          along the path toward home
To arrive at the tomb of their own dead
          and not just die strangers
          where no one knew their names

What can I do now
but cry as I remember them
          and remember those awaiting
          their return with joy
          they must plow into the earth

What can I say to their people
What can I do so these deaths
don’t hurt

If only my tears could serve
to water the fields
and coax new life
to bloom