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You exist in work and concentration,
in children’s games, and in daylight
flooding the desolate eye
in reborn fire. New flower.

People of good will exert themselves
unconscious of the treasure
they bring to your breast,
or of the air they give you, the
bit of relief their coarse blind hands
offer to your unfinished agony.

You smile through tears
knowing the importance
of the cane harvest
and surely you are
no enemy of lovely potatoes
or red tomatoes,
unobjectionable and right.

In fact, it would please you
as you die
if everything is done well,
with joy and love,
and if people have a decent supper
as you descend to your grave.


Cintio Vitier
Translation by Kathleen Weaver

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