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Poetry

Family Picture in Havana

By Raúl Rivero
Translated from Spanish by Diana Alvarez-Amell

Mom and I are alone once again
the same as it was at the end of the forties.

Alone, in a house that's not our own,
we tell each other last night's dreams
(in hers two old people are always crying
in mine I've just missed a train, a plane or maybe a horse-drawn carriage.)

Alone, my mother and I
bereft of Dad's protection,
who did not, is not and won't ever come back
and then too because her youngest son lives in another country
and my oldest daughter has also left.

Mom and I, in the nineties,
at the turn of the century again alone,
we face each other,
without asking how life will be,
just really filling in the details of how it used to be.

English

Mom and I are alone once again
the same as it was at the end of the forties.

Alone, in a house that's not our own,
we tell each other last night's dreams
(in hers two old people are always crying
in mine I've just missed a train, a plane or maybe a horse-drawn carriage.)

Alone, my mother and I
bereft of Dad's protection,
who did not, is not and won't ever come back
and then too because her youngest son lives in another country
and my oldest daughter has also left.

Mom and I, in the nineties,
at the turn of the century again alone,
we face each other,
without asking how life will be,
just really filling in the details of how it used to be.

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