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“When the storm passes” (Esperanza – Hope)

by Alexis Valdés

Translation of Alexis Valdés  poem “Esperanza” (Hope) written in Spanish in March 2020 about the humanitarian crisis brought “by the Coronavirus and the “hope” of how we will feel when the “Storm Passes” (“Cuando pase la tormenta”  –  Esperanza)

When the storm passes

and the roads are tamed,
and we are the survivors
of a collective shipwreck.

With a weeping heart
and a blessed destiny
we will feel happy
just for being alive.

And we will hug
the first stranger
and praise the luck
of not having lost a friend.

And then we’ll remember
everything we lost
And all at once we will learn
all we had not learned before

We will no longer be envious
because we have all suffered
We will no longer be lazy
And will be more compassionate

What belongs to all will be worth more
than that never achieved
We will be more generous
and much more committed

We will understand how fragile
it means to be alive.
We will sweat empathy
for who is and who has left.

We will miss the old man
asking for a dollar in the market
we didn’t know his name
although he was next to us

And perhaps the poor old man
was your God in disguise.
You never asked for his name
because you were in a hurry.

And everything will be a miracle
And everything will be legacy.
And life will be respected,
the life we have won.

When the storm passes
I ask God, full of sadness
to return us to be better
as he had dreamed we would be.

Alexis Valdés is a Cuban composer, singer, musician and poet residing in Miami.