Life and Its Work
A necessary part of life
new life wakes me: a tiny sun
with roots I must water daily
to plan their own attack upon discord.
Poor little bread of solidarity,
banner against the cold, fresh water for all the blood:
a mothering that must not vacate
And against melancholy, confidence. Against despair,
my people's life
waving hands in the windows of this secret house.
work of liberators and martyrs:
our obligations now.
They are among us, counting our steps
from breakfast to sleep,
stealth to stealth,
action to action,
life to life.
[Roque Dalton was an El Salvadoran poet and revolutionary who was assassinated in 1975. This poem was translated by Margaret Randall in celebration of the victory of Mauricio Funes, the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) candidate for president in El Salvador, on March 15.]