The Friends I Loved and Left Behind

In honor of the Chilean holiday, Reformation Day, we present this work by one of modern Chile’s most visionary authors.

Mariela Griffor
Chilean
b. 1961

 

After Elizabeth Bishop

A farewell to a dear friend is never enough.
We must bring him flowers, songs with
spinning words and good wishes.
We must bring a shadowy thought
of love that make us both happy.

We must convince the ghost that dances
around his grave to be kind to our friend.
He did so much.
He did plant a tree and had a son.
He did in part save his country.

The worst time, I thought, was to leave
one of the friends behind,
there in the dried mountain
his heart was destroyed, his eyes open.
How can we write poems after that?

The friends I loved and left made signs
with their fingers in the fading skies.
They left me here in a brown earth
so I can weep a red spot that leads
to a hollow moon faced to the sky.

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