Think of Those Who Have Died

Wednesday, August 14, 1991

Think of Those Who Have Died

em = By Ernesto Cardenal
Translated by Allen Jennings

When you receive the nomination, the prize, the promotion,

think of those who have died.
When you are in the reception, the delegation, or the commission,

think of those who have died.
When they applaud as you climb to stand with the leaders,

think of those who have died.
When they meet you at the airport in a large city,

think of those who have died.
When you take the microphone and they focus the television on you,

think of those who have died.
When you give out the certificates, the ID card, the permission,

think of those who have died.
See them without a shirt, degraded, bleeding, hooded,

crushed, lost in the heap, electric probe burns,

eyes gouged out, beheaded, riddled with bullets,

thrown at the side of the road in holes

that they have dug as common graves,

or simply scattered over the earth

Fertilising the plants of the mountain.
You represent them.

They have made you their delegate,

those who have died.

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