Poems in Exile | Sojourners

Poems in Exile

To Quicken The Dawn

We must get up early to quicken the Dawn
to see the sun rise sooner.

Over in the Bijolon the marimba will laugh
as the youngsters tickle its ribs.

We'll hear again the song of the birds
as they greet the new day down by the waterfall.

We must go see the flowering cornfield
in Salquil Grande.

We'll eat wild fruit again and climb up to Xeucalbita
where we made soup from the fish
we'd gathered in the stream.

We'll hear the women's laughter by the fire
as they toast their tortillas on the coals.

We'll go back to Trapichito
and hear the fireworks
announcing again
the celebration of Holy Mass
the True Mass where there'll be
bread enough for all.

We must go back to Parramos
and cut fresh watercress in the canyon
and as we eat, we'll hear
the murmur of the current
whispering to itself the secrets of the sower.

Then, America,
everything will be different,
children will know the taste of real milk,
and their parents can return
to the school they left as youngsters
so as not to die of hunger.

We'll go back to Chajul
and we won't see the military police
from the Army of the Rich,
the army of those who take their orders
from uniformed gorillas.
We'll go back to Ixcan.
hand in hand with Mario Mujia
and we'll kneel to kiss the earth
that holds the hearts of the 1975 martyrs.

We'll clasp hands with the orphans
and feel the echoing steps
of the ragged ones
who followed the Star
and made fun of Herod.

When Dawn comes
we will recognize them by their step.

We must watch over this pregnancy with tenderness
we must rise above the absurd stupor
of the uniformed gorillas.

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