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).

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Foam Bridge (Puente Espuma)

From my Dad’s book Elementary motherland (Patria elemental).

Foam Bridge (Puente Espuma)
Some would go up Royal Street
sobbing sorrows
and others transpiring hope.

Royal Street stretched from Central Square
to the west.
Long, endless, it faded away into the roads of Tonchalá,
where the shadow of the cacao orchards began.

They would regain their energy in Foam Bridge
to carry the dead or to persevere with
erotic projects. Those who decided to go up
to the cemetery carried sorrows and tears.
Those who did not, the endless night;
love streets ahead.

Foam Bridge: Narrow sidewalk,
dry river-bed, corner shop, fearful face,
crossroads of love and pain,
disabled witness of wideness and time!

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