Why do this?

My father, José Luis Villamizar Melo, passed away in my home town of Cúcuta, Colombia, in August last year. The law and economics were Dad's profession, but literature, history and academia his passion. He wrote and published several books, articles and book chapters. The thing is that so many people have missed out on his work, particularly on his beautiful poetry, which he wrote in Spanish prior to the world wide web. So I thought, what a better way to keep Dad's legacy alive than to bring his writing beyond his world and share it with mine. That is why I am translating over 250 of my Dad's poems to English and publishing them here, one a day, Monday to Friday during 2011 (Dad, a family man, always believed that you shouldn't work on weekends).

Friday, April 1, 2011

Now I know that you exist (Ya se que existes)

This is probably one of my favourite poems.  It examines the innocence of a child, young faith, the absence of malice.  I also love it because it shows a happier side of Dad, his pride, his love for his family.  Dedicated to my big brother José Luis on his 46th birthday from Dad’s book Urgent Poetry (Poesía de urgencia)

Now I know that you exist (Ya se que existes)

My seven year old son asks me about God.
He wants to know if God exists and where He lives.
He pre-empts his own concept:
says that God lives a little higher than the sun, passed the moon
straight down the path of the astronauts.

I have answered yes, that God exists
just the way he imagines Him.  But that he can do without
the intergalactic adventure.
That although His reign is the terminal
where he parks the travelling rocket,
he will find God on the playground at school,
in the shade under the tree where he waits for his ride,
in his school desk, the blackboard, the textbook,
in the severe or sweet voice of the teacher,
in the triumph of an Olympic goal during recess,
in the sorrow of detention and bad grades,
in the classmate with incipient charms,
in his sisters who see him as a little man,
in the mother who sees through his eyes,
in the rain that falls this morning,
in the garden that will show off its roses during the afternoon sun,
but also in his own question.

It is enough for me, my son, that you explore
if God exists and where He lives,
to know that you exist.

To my son
José Luis

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