1. Mujer Negra | Nancy Morejón

    Translated by Kathleen Weaver

    I still smell the foam of the sea they made me cross.

    The night, I can not remember it.

    The ocean itself could not remember that.

    But I can’t forget the first gull I made out in the distance.

    High, the clouds, like innocent eyewitnesses.

    Perhaps I haven’t forgotten my lost coast,

    nor my ancestral language.

    They left me here and here I’ve lived.

    And, because I worked like an animal,

    here I came to be born.

    How many Mandinga epics did I look to for strength.

                I rebelled.

    His Worship bought me in a public square.

    I embroidered His Worship’s coat and bore him a male child.

    My son had no name.

    And His Worship died at the hands of an impeccable Englishlord.

                      I walked.

    This is the land where I suffered

    mouth-in-the-dust and the lash.

    I rode the length of all its rivers.

    Under its sun I planted seeds, brought in the crops,

    but never ate those harvests.

    A slave barracks was my house,

    built with stones that I hauled myself.

    While I sang to the pure beat of native birds.

                    I rose up.

    In this same land I touched the fresh blood

    and decayed bones of many others,

    brought to this land or not, the same as I.

    I no longer dreamt of the road to Guinea.

    Was it to Guinea?  Benin?

                    To Madagascar? Or Cape Verde?

                    I worked on and on.

    I strengthened the foundations of my milllenary song and of my hope.

                     I left for the hills.

    My real independence was the free slave fort

    and I rode with the troops of Maceo.

    Only a century later, together with my descendents,

    from a blue mountain

                     I came down from the Sierra

    to put an end to capital and ursurer,

    to generals and to bourgeouis.

    Now I exist: only today do we own, do we create.

    Nothing is foreign to us.

    The land is ours.

    Ours the sea and sky,

    the magic and vision.

    Compañeros, here I see you dance

    around the tree we are planting for communism.

    Its prodigal wood resounds.

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    This poem write here
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    This takes deep reflection to truly comprehend!!!
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    I still smell the foam of the sea they made me cross. The night, I can not remember it. The ocean itself could not...
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