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from the July 2014 issue

Poem to the One in Far-Off Lands

The one banished by poverty
lives heartless in far-off lands
and cares for nothing as if it were his
and is sullen and tired under the heavens.
The one who leaves his house defeated
and is dragged along by the murmur of people
and empty wanders the street
and sits in front of a machine.
The one grieved by reason who faces a life
that dies still hoping and does not return.
To this one whom no one ever bade farewell
and who one day takes the train toward dawn.
No one will know him, his story is sad
like a sea that lies undiscovered.
He has not wanted to look at spring,
he works in order to return, to germinate
one day like the flowering tree that in his orchard
gave shade and purpose to morning.
You might think heaven will forgive him,
think love,
city and birds and towers
will peal again the bells in his eyes.
But he, who lost in far-off lands
was boulevard debris, has died.
Mourn him not,
next to that dark wood
bubbled an honest spring.

© Juan Carlos Mestre. Translation © 2014 by Jeremy Dae Paden. All rights reserved.

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