Small words for a Palestinian child

Many thanks to José Manuel Solá of Pueto Rico, for his words and the kind permission of Red Crearte. To learn more of their mission go here.

Many this truce last, Kind God, for the sake of the children.

At this hour
I want to say “see you tomorrow,”
but I do not know if there will be sunrise.
And I would like to invite you to look at the stars,
to listen to the song of the birds
while I tell you stories of a thousand and one nights.

The night sky is prohibited;
the birds, your parents, your siblings,
the kids at your school,
already drift from your life:
History has been mutilated.

At hour I want to
cover your weary innocence
with the blanket of kiss on your forehead,
cover the dreams and hopes of your eyes
with the warmth of a better tomorrow…

But I do not know what to do
to illuminate your hands
nor what stories to tell you.
How can I erase the terror, the death, the roar
that shakes your body and your gaze…
To what heaven can I lift my prayers.
Even so
I want to say “…see you tomorrow…”

Pequeñas palabras para un niño palestino

A esta hora
yo quisiera decirte hasta mañana,
pero no sé si habrá un amanecer.
Y quisiera invitarte a mirar las estrellas,
a escuchar el canto de los pájaros
y a contarte historias de mil y una noches.

El cielo de la noche está prohibido;
los pájaros, tus padres, tus hermanos,
los niños de tu escuela,
ya no están al alcance de tu vida:
la historia ha sido mutilada.

A esta hora quisiera
cubrir con la cobija de un beso en la frente
tu inocencia cansada,
los sueños e ilusiones de tus ojos
con la tibieza de un mejor mañana…

Pero no sé qué hacer
para alumbrar tus manos
ni qué historias contarte;
cómo borro el terror, la muerte, el estampido
con que tiembla tu cuerpo y tu mirada…
ni a qué cielo llevar mis oraciones.
Aún así
yo te quiero decir “…hasta mañana…”

(c) José Manuel Solá, Puerto Rico
translation Katie Fiegenbaum

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