The Snack

In honor of St. Joseph’s Day, we present this work by one of today’s most spirited Colombian poets.

Andrea Cote-Botero
b. 1981


Also remember, María,
four in the afternoon
in our scorched port.
Our port
that was more a stranded bonfire
or a wasteland
or a lightning flash.
Remember the burning ground,
us girls scratching the earth’s back
as if to disinter the green meadow.
The lot where they were serving the snack,
our plate brimming with onions
salted by my mother,
fished by my father.
But despite all that,
you know well,
we would have liked to invite God
to preside at our table,
God but without a word
without miracles
and only so you would know,
that God is everywhere
as well as in your plate of onions
although it makes you cry.

But above all
remember me and the wound,
before they grazed from my hands
in the wheatfield of onions
to make from our bread
the hunger of all our days
so that now
that you no longer remember
and the bad seed feeds the wheatfield of the missing
I discover you, María,
which is not your fault
nor the fault of your forgetting,
for this is the time
and this its task.

Translation by Nicolás Suescún

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