JUANA CABRERA – a poem by Juan Ramírez Ruiz

(This also still occurs)

Juana Cabrera has been left in the streets.
Her house has been demolished while the sun was shining.
There was a court order and of course the Judge has been present
and has verified the destruction that the wreckers have made.
And I have seen it, I have conversed with her and
she has lived there for decades with sons husband and sister.
She has worked her entire life. Is registered to vote and has only
one pleasure
the records of El Satanás de Cuba, especially that one “if you knew
the desire that I have to see you” and the other “Tropical Path”.
And now Juana Cabrera is on the street and has again remembered
the seaquake of 42, the seism of 66 or the caravan of the damned
or the multitude (that was conversing in the night) afflicted
by that war which ended in two horrible mushrooms.
(And this is a serious subject)
Juana Cabrera is going to sleep in the street.
She is going to be hungry and cold again.
And surely she is going to lose weight.

Translated by Zachary Payne
JUAN RAMIREZ RUIZ BY JUAN CARLOS ÑAÑAKE
JUAN RAMIREZ RUIZ BY JUAN CARLOS ÑAÑAKE

(También esto aún acontece)

Juana Cabrera se ha quedado en la calle.
Su casa ha sido demolida mientras brillaba el sol.
Hubo orden judicial y por supuesto el Juez ha estado presente
y ha constatado los destrozos que han hecho los demoledores.
Y yo la he visto, yo he conversado con ella y
ella ha vivido allí por décadas con hijos marido y hermana.
Ha trabajado toda su vida. Tiene libreta electoral y un solo gusto
los discos de El Satanás de Cuba, especialmente ese “si tú supieras
las ansias que tengo de verte” y el otro “Vereda Tropical”.
Y ahora Juana Cabrera está en la calle y ha vuelto a recordar
el maremoto del 42, el sismo del 66 o la caravana de damnificados
o la multitud (que conversaba en las noches) afligida
por esa guerra que terminó en dos horribles hongos.
(Y esto es un asunto grave)
Juan Cabrera va a dormir en plena calle.
Va a tener hambre y frío otra vez.
Y seguramente va a perder peso.


JUAN RAMÍREZ RUIZ (Chiclayo, 1946-Trujillo, 2007)
Poetry Books: Un par de vueltas por la realidad (Lima: Ediciones del Movimiento Hora Zero, 1971); Vida perpetua (Lima: Editorial Ames, 1978); and Las armas molidas (Lima: Arteidea,1996).

From ASYMMETRIES, Anthology of Peruvian Poetry (Cardboard House Press, 2014).

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