An Old Poem for Translation Day

Apparently, it’s International Translation Day! (They really do think of everything.)

I’ve been working on another blog entry, but have been doing so much end-of-month paid work to make sure we’ll have enough money in November that I haven’t been able to edit it. Next week, it’s happening!

In the meantime, a poem from a few years ago, Saint Jerome’s Day. A lot has changed since I wrote it: a pandemic, a separation that’s still taking forever to transition to divorce, a new life. My daughter is older. But San Jerónimo is still being celebrated every year in nearby-Coatepec, the town that claims him as their patron saint.

Is it sand or sawdust

on the cobblestone streets?

San Jerónimo, patron saint of this agnostic translator and

way too concerned with women’s purity if you ask me

and plus, did you really tame that lion

because I find that hard to believe.

Laid out so beautifully, fleeting murals on the ground

of this still-small town in Mexico

ready for the cleansing by trampling

of the devout.

Dancing clowns

a make-shift monster of pine branches and burlap

boys showing off their strength

as they carry a 2-ton altar to the church

complete with their refrescos on top (offering or just a convenient carrying spot? I can never tell)

That kind of raw but self-conscious masculine energy

has always made me nervous

It’s way scarier to me than the one who cracks the whip

in front of my delightful drunk friend, trying to get a picture in the middle of the procession.

or the day-fireworks, all bark and nothing to look at

My daughter sits inside the café wanting sweets

Other times on her father’s shoulders shouting “¡Mira!” as this procession we don’t understand

marches and dances by

destroying the beautiful ground murals that

never would have lasted anyway.

Let’s not fear this transition and destruction anymore.


One thought on “An Old Poem for Translation Day

  1. This is werid somehow. (Wearid? Weirid?)

    Perhaps all the things you mentioned, like San Geronimo and his notions of pure women, the procession, the two- ton altar, the murals on the ground and the scary, raw self -conscious masculine energy are all illusions which do not really exist, especially since scientists like Albert Einstein have already concluded that time itself does not exist.
    For a clearer explanation read the Mandukya Upanishad with the commentary of Adi Shankaracharya.

    Liked by 1 person

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