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WINTER 2022-23

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Julieta Dobles


My mother’s house is still there,
Standing strangely, standing,
Like the trunk of a tree
already empty,
flush with the storm.
But nothing moves in it.
Nothing buzzes behind
the overwhelmed walls,
nothing pulsates,
except helplessness
anxiously seeking
old echoes in the wide
zaguanes, passageway
where silence nests
like a broken bird,
even more painful
after so much music.
The Realm of Absences:
this is the true window
of death, that crystallizes
everything lived in the urn
of impossible returns.
Walk through the rooms
deserted as mirrors
that no longer reflect
anything, with furniture
absent of what little was left
of your aura, mother,
and our childhood,
lived so large
it still perfumes
mosaics and corners
with its terrestrial breath.
I want to believe
your greeting from death
was truthful.That the dream of girls
watching you enter again
with your old flower smile
to the house that sustained us for
half a century was an accurate reply
to my unanswerable grief.
But there is no resonance in my grief.
Matter is so deaf,
my cry is so thick and so urgent
that I only have this poem left
where I converse alone with absences,
in front of that courtyard of ours,
with these old trees
sown by the paternal hand
“Do you remember them
in their curtain of abandonments?”
they are dying too.

Julieta Dobles (b 1942) Costa Rican poet, writer and educator, winner of the 2013 Magnon National Cultural Award, was one of the founders of the transcendentalist movement in Costa Rica. She studied at University of Costa Rica, obtained a master’s degree in Hispanic Philology at SUNY Stony Brook, and is five time winner of the Aquileo J Echeverria National Prize in Costa Rica.