Memories

Note: This poem was originally written in Yucatecan Maya.


Do you remember the days
when we were young?
Do you remember those afternoons in January
when I visited your house?


Those nights, at the door,
you came out to chat.
We, the boys, would gather
in the middle of the plaza.


I remember the grandparents
who told us their adventures.
They amused us all,
stretching out our late nights.


At the beginning of the year we prolonged the night,
because night was brief and day was long.
It was difficult to wake up the next day
to do our work in the field.


Do you remember the first time I spoke to you?
When I gave you my promise?
The beautiful memories are those we lived
in our youth long gone.


All the happy things we did
when you were not yet my sweetheart.
Do you remember anything more?
The night I wanted to take you to the dance?


I asked permission of your father. He did not want to
give it.
You began to sob,
seeing you made me sad,
I do not know how I left your house.


Today everything has changed.
Little by little we are finishing
the task that we were given in the world.
We have done what we could.


Now we are going. Everything ends.
Now the young ones are growing up.
They must try to complete
the things we could not finish.


Originally published in Cantos del corazon, Secretaria de Desarrollo Social, Instituto Nacional Indigenista, Mexico, 1993, p. 41.