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Friday, March 12, 2010

Sounds in the Silence

To do justice to the poem below perhaps the better picture would be one of my homeland, El Salvador, instead of the religious motive I have chosen. But since the author is a very religious person and I understand the writing to be also a prayer to God, there it is.
The poem was written I am told sometime around the mid-to-late 1980s, when violence overwhelmed the country.
Most of us know what happened and how things have —or haven't— changed.
The author wishes to remain anonymous and while I would be more than glad to reveal the author's identity, I am gonna respect that wish. The poem has the same title as this post.


Neither wail nor reproach
greets the night
as the day closes its tired eyes
to give Earth, inside and out,
its rest.

And I
my beloved homeland
watch your sleep
while you lay at rest
Wondering guessing perhaps
if there is
in the morning dew
the explanation of why
overwhelms you.

It’s been this night
while in my thoughts following
the footprints marking our
journey from birth to old-age
that I have heard and found
to my utter amazement
the sounds in the silence.

In this lethargic heaviness
besetting you
and us
I heard
the groaning of a woman in labor
the anguished
throes of a dying man in his sickbed
and also heard
the pain that goes along
with disenchantment.

My yearnings
led me along to find out
the sounds in the silence
heard the widower
sobbing for his wife
and also the complaints
of the dipsomaniac.

Rest my homeland
inside and out
and while you are asleep
I will be waiting
for the morn
to find out then if the sunshine
will soothe your suffering
and warm the coldness
that surrounds me.

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