#199 Memoria Desmemoriada/Forgetful Memory by Juan Estevan Arellano

La memoria se me está acabando
No sólo a mi, sino también a la tierra,
El caballo alazán tostado ya no sabe como trabajar
Ni conoce el arado, menos la jaida o la escardina

Hace un siglo que’l caballo era el mejor amigo del hombre
Le ayudaba a traer leña de la Cejita, siguiendo todo el arroyo de la plaza
Con el caballo se divertía el hombre corriendo en la pareja,
Al chueco y al gallo por las fiestas

Los hombres eran furnidos, fuertes y trabajaban de sol a sol
Y las mujeres no solo criaban las familias pero atendían las milpas y huertas de chile
Por el invierno vivían de los tasajos de calabazas y melones mexicanas
Las perchas se veían desde lejos colmadas de cecinas de vaca y borrega

Las acequias surtían a la comunidad de agua para regar los sembrados
De ahí también bebía agua la gente tanto como los animales,
Y las mujers usaban su agua para la lavar la ropa,
Sus bordos eran los caminos de la comunidad, un complejo de redes
Que hoy en día ya desaparecieron, la memoria ya se borró,
Igual que se borraron los surcos y las besanas

Los montes mejor se queman que dejar a la gente cosecharlos
Ya no sabemos cuales hierbas nos sanan y cuales nos enferman
Nos podemos morir de hambre rodeados de hierbas que se comen
Y morirnos de sed parados arriba del agua

Qué triste cuando una persona pierde su memoria,
Pero más triste es cuando la sociedad se le olvida de donde vino,
Y peor tristeza cuando la tierra pierde su habilidad de producir
Y las semillas ya no saben cuando reventar, ya se les olvidó
Por no ser nativas de esta tierra.

Que tristeza me da que en un siglo se fue la memoria
La tierra ya no produce, se volvió rala
Las acequias ya no corren, sucia está el agua en lugar de cristalina
Nuestra lengua ya no se escucha, nuestros hijos della se averguenzan.

Forgetful Memory

My memory is starting to fade
Not only mine, but also the earth’s
The sorrel roasted colored horse no longer knows how to work
He doesn’t recognize the plow, neither the sod-buster, much less the tiller

A century ago the horse was man’s best friend
He helped bring firewood from the brow of the mountain, following the Plaza arroyo
With the horse, man used him to recreate on the horse race site
Playing horse hockey and pulling the rooster

Men were robust, strong and worked from sun up to sun down
And women not only tended to their families, they also took care of the corn and chile plots
During the winter they lived off the dried squash and Mexican melons
The clothes line could be seen from a distance full of beef and lamb jerky

The acequias fed the communities with water to irrigate their fields
From there they also drank water both people and animals
Women used its water to wash their clothes
Their banks were the community roads, a complex of mazes
Today they have disappeared, the memory has faded
The same as the farrows and rows have disappeared

The mountains burn instead of allowing people to harvest them
We no longer know which plants heal us and which make us sick
We can die of hunger surrounded by edible plants
And die of thirst while standing on top of water

How sad when a person loses their memory
But it’s worse when society forgets its origins
And worse when the earth loses its ability to produce
And the seeds don’t know when to sprout, they already forgot
Since they are not native to this land

I feel sad that within a century our memory disappeared
The land no longer produces, it became very thin
The acequias no longer run, the water is dirty instead of crystalline
Our language is no longer spoken, our sons are ashamed

Juan Estevan Arellano – Journalist, writer, researcher; a graduate of New Mexico State University and a Fellow of the Washington Journalism Center. He was a Visiting Research Scholar at the University of New Mexico’s School of Architecture.

2 thoughts on “#199 Memoria Desmemoriada/Forgetful Memory by Juan Estevan Arellano

  1. With this poem, Estevan shows that in addition to all his other accomplishments, he is truly a fine poet and his mastery of English and Spanish is superb. I feel honored to appear in the same collection of poems with him.

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