Fraternal Inscription

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 105th birthday.

Margarita Michelena
1917 – 1998



I have not come to say goodbye, sister,
Although surroundings affirm your death.
One evidence of you has been cancelled,
One only: your body,
That indication that united and contained you
—dark net of time—
Like the closed womb of the flower imprisons
Its immortal family and in a precise dream
Prepares its face of constant splendors.
A certain morning, a finger of air
Touches the arranged wall,
Penetrates the heanvenly armor,
Mocks mirrors.
Alone, naked now,
Lacking a foundation
For its house of aromas,
The tiny fist enlarges
Its secret energies,
Tears up its mystery
And gives the wind everything it has:
A laughing border of earth’s gown,
A certainty of beauty.
There it will have for the eye only a long silence.
And beyond, working in the spring,
Green living memories, May vocations.

So I’m thinking of you now,
Thus I explain your passage,
That’s how I know you have left
One of your appearances,
Left your summer hair,
Left your smile and your flashing openness,
Left your eyes
Where the sea, in morning dress,
Laughed wave by wave and tossed off
Gentle flashes of foam.

Now you multiply in warm hollows
In gardens of sweet humidities,
In places of tenderness,
In fields ringing with clover and bees,
In time-lapses of blood,
In circles of shadow softening the midday,
In stones warmed by afternoon sun.

You shall return voices of child, cheek of girl,
Tree of double kingdom—roots
In hidden tasks,
Music in the happy madness of the breezes—.
By fruit and grasses you shall make your way
And you shall draw near in their fragrance.
You shall be the company the recluse meets
Passing through the midnight of his soul
And through one of these walls rising in the field
And upon which moss installs its long softnesses.
You shall be that born by groan and happiness
And shall be in the joy of violated bone.

You shall come in each spiraling trill,
In each thing morning returns to us,
In the shy mirror of the poplar leaf,
In the dry and happy whisper of wings,
In the child who leaves with a kiss on its brow:
You knew beforehand the dawn’s occupation.


Goodbye to the sad ones, the obscure.
Not to you, sister.
To live as you did was to deny death,
To see a plant thrive on bare rock.
Goodbye to the closed one, to the dried.
Never goodbye to the rain.
Till soon. Till soon.
Until a child’s radiance.
Until a rose.

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