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Gustavo Gac-Artigas

Boric President: Ode to Chile, my distant land

Translated by Priscilla Gac-Artigas

At sunset, after a bright Sunday in December
between chimes of joy accompanying the stars
and shadows receding in the dark night
Chile rose from the ashes and opened new horizons

Chileans abandoned the fear of each other and revived hope
Chile forsook history to write a new history
Chile sang its song to sing along
with you
with me
with us
the peoples of the Americas

immortal Violeta, you accompanied her rebirth after living for a century
a rebirth as fragile as a second

Gabriela, you came down from the cordillera to accompany your people

Pablo, your verses blossomed in the fisherman’s heart who with a miraculous net
returned us free to the ocean
Salvador, you descended from the gunpowder clouds to rest in La Moneda

country of history
Chile made history

country of resistance
Chile resisted the Conquerors
resisted the Dictator

a renewed country
Chile resists temptation
when temptation is around

the temptation to relive the past,
to be lured by the ghosts of the past,
the temptation to close your eyes
instead of opening them to the future

a country in motion
Chile elected the youngest president
of its history,
Gabriel Boric

verse by verse Chileans
wrote a new ode
an ode to a Chile that begins to travel
the arduous roads
of change
of justice
of fraternity
of equality

on the hopeful,
though not without dangers, path
of a Chile
fearless to define her future

the pencils trembled with love as in the first time,
downstrokes fell from heaven on a fertile land,
ballots fed the hungry jaws
of the dispossessed
of the forgotten
of the thirsty for justice
to write this poem

each vote a verse
each verse drying the people’s tears
extinguishing their cry of pain
soothing the suffering

today, how I long
oh, how I long!
to rest my head at the foot of the cordillera
freshen up my memories in the lakes of the South
feel my cheeks caressed by the Puelche wind

how I wish
that my people’s tears
that your people’s tears
be, from now on, tears of joy
in this,
our new history.

Hey you,
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