viernes, 23 de enero de 2009

Selma to Montgomery / Selma a Montgomery

Selma to Montgomery

I remember the gathering,
pause, flow, angst,
Selma to Montgomery--

A march. I was told
later, it was a march,
a stand on civil rights...

But what I remember
is a rush from head to foot,
the air so charged
it had to be sucked into our lungs
and expelled through our gills
by an act of will.
We swam in
courage and yes fear,
I was not yet two.
Our dorsal fins
cut through the strong
counter current, as we anticipated
each other's every move
breath upon breath.

Selma to Montgomery.
I, not yet two,
buffeted by emotion
held tight to my father's head
above his shoulders--
Later, I was told
it was a civil rights march,
people had lost their lives
for us to come that far.

Under a waning Capricorn moon
one night while we were there
Viola Liuzzo just down from Detroit
in her 1963 Oldsmobile lost her life
shot dead by the Klan right outside of town
on that dark Selma Highway. My mother
spoke little of this...

From Selma to Montgomery
we breathed the air like water
and we moved through that water
of courage and yes fear
as one.

[Selma to Montgomery info from PBS. 41 Lives for Freedom from Civil Rights Memorial.]


Selma a Montgomery

Recuerdo la convergencia
pausa, corriente, angustia,
Selma a Montgomery

Una marcha, me dijeron
más tarde, que era una marcha,
una manifestación por los derechos civiles...
Pero lo que yo recuerdo
es una precipitada corriente eléctrica de pies a cabeza,
el aire tan cargado
que teníamos que chuparlo
para luego arrojarlo por nuestras bránquias
en un acto de voluntad.
Nadamos en la valentía sí y en el miedo,
yo aún no cumplía dos años.
Nuestras aletas dorsales
atravesaban la fuerte
contracorriente, mientras anticipábamos
cada movimiento el uno al otro
respiro tras respiro.

Selma a Montgomery,
yo, aún no cumplía dos años,
azotada por la emoción
abrazada con fuerza a la cabeza de mi padre
sobre sus hombros--
Más tarde me dijeron
que era una marcha por los derechos civiles,
que gente había perdido su vida
para que nosotros llegáramos tan lejos.

Bajo una luna menguante en Capricornio
una noche mientras estábamos allí
Viola Liuzzo recién llegada de Detroit
en su Oldsmobile del '63 perdió su vida
bajo las balas del Klu Klux Klan en las afueras de la ciudad
en la oscura carretera de Selma. Mi madre
habló poco de esto...

Desde Selma a Montgomery
respiramos el aire como si fuese agua
y nos movimos a través de esa agua
de valentía sí y de miedo
como uno solo.

[Traducción de María Inés Mogaburo y Lorena Lobita.]

4 comentarios:

  1. Beautiful poems, Lorena. If you ever want me to translate one of them into Spanish, just let me know. No charges, just the pleasure of sharing the overwhelming experience of poetry.No price, high value.
    I discovered several coincidences among your favourite authors and mine

  2. Just forgot to tell you that this is Marìa Inès Mogaburu making a comment about translation and poetry

  3. Thank you María Inés for your generous offer. I usually do my own translations, but as you see, I don't get to them all... From your work with Ron, I recognize that you are a talented and sensitive translator-- that is a gift!

  4. thank you sweet beautiful fierce warrior woman Lorena!!!
    your piece brought up so many memories, emotions.
    i love you
    your friend forever
    thanks for keeping the creative fires burning!!!