October 27, 2012


Green leaves white flower
white moon
I think of soft black hair
framing a bony face, and pain
like burning coal
sears my mind's fingers.
Because I have seen too much
of suffering among our people
to ever forget what I must love
and hate
how can I say I love you still?
You have turned your back
on this noble undertaking,
this one thing that is pure
and beautiful in our lives,
this epic war for freedom.
So how can I say I love you still?
Yet it is true
your memory like darkness
loath to flee before the dawn
is with me still--
a ghost, a monstrous demon
that must be exorcised!
I wake up mornings
in a dream of doubt:
Shall I have strength enough
to win this fight?
Next year shall this broken bush
bear new white blooms?
Wind from the southwest blows
warm and gentle kisses
upon the sierra's tips.
The sea is sweetly calm.
The kalaw's call
is like a bugle song
summoning the new day.
I must take heart
from all this serene joy!
History marches ever forward
Our people shall have peace
and victory shall heal
each battle wound
with the fragrance of
white flowers.

-          Lorena Barros
June 1975