Friday, March 20, 2015

Poem of the Week: Lourdes Galván

Landscapes that Remind Me of My Children

Utica is a pretty and quiet country
When I was at the bus station
my son would say to me, 'mom, I am hungry'
and a man who was sweeping came up to me
and told me to come
and I went
and he bought him a hamburger
and a milk carton
and that is how a woman came up to me
and asked me 'what are you doing here?'
and I told her what was happening to me
and she said come to my house
because it is very cold outside
and then call the person so that they come get you
she gave us dinner but I
because I was sad
could not eat
or sleep
and this is my story

 Pasajes que me Recuerdan a Mis Hijos
Utica es un país muy bonito y tranquilo
Cuando estaba en la estación del autobús
mi hijo me decía 'mama, tengo hambre'
y un señor que estaba bariendo se me acerco
y me dijo ven
y yo fui
y le compro una hamburguesa
y un bote de leche
y así a mi vino una señora
y me pregunto '¿que haces aquí?'
y yo platique lo que me pasaba y me dijo vente a mi casa
porque afuera está muy frio
y después llamas a la persona para que venga por ti
nos dio de cenar pero yo
como me sentía triste
no podía comer
ni tampoco dormir
y esta es mi historica

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Used with permission.
Translation from the Spanish by Leanne Tory-Murphy.

* * *
Lourdes Galván wrote this poem in her workshops with Mark Nowak. The workshops were part of a collaboration between The Worker Justice Center of New York in Kingston and the PEN American Center/PEN World Voices Festival. Lourdes originally performed this poem at two events in the PEN World Voices Festival (2014), including once at a pop-up poetry reading with fellow Hudson Valley farmworkers at the Union 
Square Farmers' Market in New York City. 

Given the policy of the Department of Immigration and Nationalization Services toward many workers in the US, we have withheld the author's photograph due to her legal status.

This poem was selected by our Freedom Plow Award winner Mark Nowak to be our Poem of the Week. 
* * * 

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