To See Her Again, After a Gabriela Mistral's Love Poem*
And never, never more to see her form,
Not even a glimpse of her,
Not in the nights filled with trembling stars,
Or at noon when bright light
Feeds and graces every living thing,
How do I believe that I may never see her again?
Never, never, again, to witness her walking
Upon the kicked up dirt of the bridle path,
Along the river, underneath the shadow of trees,
Never, her body, her feet, leaping up, then to trod
The white-washed stones of the causeway?
I wonder if she remembers the bridge, the one
Topping the low-rise concrete dam there at New Hope?
I told her as we looked to the river below
That nothing had sufficient strength,
That no material exists to control the overflow,
Is there nothing to contain my flood of feelings for her?
How else might I relate my mood?
Ask the pertinent question?
Never, never, again, to eye her fleshly presence,
Entangled, standing in the tresses of the forest,
Or stooped, gathering strawberries, picking them
One by one from the plants, her, the image of her,
Out between the raised earth rows
And the troughs in the farm-field garden,
That now and forever such visions no more,
How am I ever to conclude so terrible a destiny?
And here at home I walk the big-city sidewalks,
Remain alone while the night, the late hours envelop me.
My cries echo, repeat my anguish.
Through the empty parking lots and off the brick walls,
Against building after building,
My voice carries, yet seemingly I am not heard,
Though occasionally some one person may look,
Shake a head from side to side at my sorry spectacle,
Most people hurry past, eyes down, as if I do not exist,
But what about the reality of my situation?
Over and over, I hear myself implore her to return to me.
Should I not, and is it not better to forget her?
Oh, no! To see her again,
It does not matter when
Not important, makes no difference, where,
- My, my I beseech Mercy to grant my wish! -
If today I should have glimpse of her in the heavens,
I divert my eyes and glance up,
Her face set against a deep, blue patch of sky,
Or perhaps tomorrow in the vortex,
Within the swirling ocean power,
The whirlpool force which carries all kinds of debris,
When a ship and all its glory sinks,
Down, down into the Sailors' Locker,
Would it be possible that image of her still surfaces,
That I have sight of her, though all else disappears,
Albeit sun has set,
And moon light is the scene's sole illuminate?
Oh, no! To see her again, and to view her in the moment
When the volcano opens
And I am on the edge before the lurid, red hell-mouth,
And witness its demons' roaring spew of steam and ash,
Yet even such terrific instant be granted me,
I do not flinch. I am steadfast.
I have no fear of misadventure.
I look into the conflagration.
I do not plug my ears, I listen,
And from within earth's deep, far-away core,
Amidst the Hurley burly of all the explosions,
Within the lightning claps and clamor,
The mad noise of boulders being thrown
I hear it! I hear her name, Etta, Etta!
I see her face and lovely shape,
She, she dances above the fires!
Yes, I admit her deviltry besets me.
And to be with her in all the spring times,
And in all the winters,
Entwined in paroxysm of mighty-muscle clench,
While I suck up the blood from her neck,
And spot her flesh all over,
Make it black and blue with the power of my caresses,
Should I ever hold her in my arms,
Might Hope let me see her again.
*The Chilean and Noble Prize for Literature, poet, Gabriela Mistral had entitled her poem, Volverlo a Ver, To See Him Again. I do not hope to translate her great poem. Her poem was the inspiration for my own verse.
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Poet's Notes about The Poem
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