Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical

[Lent: day 12/40]

The House
-Gabriela Mistral

The table, son, is laid
with the quiet whiteness of cream,
and on four walls ceramics
gleam blue, glint light.
Here is the salt, here the oil,
in the center, bread that almost speaks.
Gold more lovely than gold of bread
is not in broom plant or fruit,
and its scent of wheat and oven
gives unfailing joy.
We break bread, little son, together
with our hard fingers, our soft palms,
while you stare in astonishment
that black earth brings forth a white flower.

Lower your hand that reaches for food
as your mother also lowers hers.
Wheat, my son, is of air,
of sunlight and hoe;
but this bread, called "the face of God,"
is not set on every table.
And if other children do not have it,
better, my son, that you not touch it,
better that you do not take it
with ashamed hands.

My son, Hunger with his grimaced face
in eddies circles the unthrashed wheat.
They search and never find each other,
Bread and hunchbacked Hunger.
So that he find it if he should enter now,
we'll leave the bread until tomorrow.
Let the blazing fire mark the door
that the Quechuan Indian never closed,
and we will watch Hunger eat
to sleep with body and soul.

translated by Doris Dana

*In Chile, the people call bread " the face of God." (G. M.)
from Place of Passage: Contemporary Catholic Poetry ed. David Craig and Janet McCann (Ashland, OR: Story Line Press, 2000) p. 207-8

Googling to copy-and-paste gets me also the Spanish version
La Casa

La mesa, hijo, esta tendida,
en blancura quieta de nata,
y en cuatro muros azulea,
dando relumbres, la ceramica.
Esta es la sal, este el aceite
y al centro el Pan que casi habla.
Oro mas lindo que oro del Pan
no esta ni en fruta ni en retama,
y da su olor de espiga y horno
una dicha que nunca sacia.
Lo partimos, hijito, juntos,
con dedos duros y palma blanda,
y tu lo miras asombrado
de tierra negra que da flor blanca.

Baja la mano de comer,
que tu madre tambien la baja.
Los trigos, hijo, son del aire,
y son del sol y de al azada;
pero este Pan "cara de Dios"
no llega a mesas de las casas;
y si otros ninos no lo tienen,
mejor, mi hijo, no lo tocaras,
y no tomarlo mejor seria
con mano y mano avergonzadas.

Hijo, el Hambre, cara de mueca,
en remolino gira las parvas,
y se buscan y no se encuentran
el Pan y el Hambre corcovada.
Para que lo halle, si ahora entra,
el Pan dejemos hasta manana;
el fuego ardiendo marque la puerta,
que el indio quechua nunca cerraba,
!y miremos comer al Hambre,
para dormir con cuerpo y alma!
Tags: lent: 2006: daily poetry, poetry: lent: 2006

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