by Antonio Machado
It was a time of infamy and lies.
The nation itself was dressed up
like a squalid clown to draw
attention away from our wound.
That was then. We were young:
bad weather, worse omens,
we had nightmares in our hair
as the sea swelled with wrecks.
We swore we would abandon ship.
We said that we would sail away on
a silver galleon, eschewing the shore,
rudder and sail charging to the sea.
Even in the loss of that dream—
the debt from a century of failure—
we still sought the light as sacred
ideals drowned in this confusion.
Led by our anxious convictions,
we flexed, we preened, we abandoned
armor as clean as a mirror. We said,
“It’s bad, but tomorrow will be mine.”
Today is that tomorrow. The nation
is dancing in faux gold, faux fur,
twisted as an oak and drunk
on wine like blood from a sore.
Listen. If the will to change comes,
chase it. When the fire comes,
wake up, wake and let it fill you up
the way light burns inside a diamond.
Last updated November 29, 2022