Death

 

José Luis Hidalgo

(from the Spanish of José Luis Hidalgo)

Sir: you have everything; one world of darkness
and another of light, bright, sky-blue.
But tell me: those who have died,
is it the night or the day that they inherit?

We are your children, those you bore,
those who, naked in their human flesh,
offer ourselves like barren fields
to the hatred or love of your two claws.

We live with the clamour of war
sounding darkly deep down inside us; for it is there
that you fight without ever defeating yourself,
and leave us the blood-soaked terrain.

So tell me, tell me, Sir: Why us?
Why choose us for your battle-field?
And after it all, in death, what reward can we expect?
Eternal peace or eternal strife?

Translation © James Munro

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