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Aqui, no se rinde nadie- Nobody gives up here.
--Augusto Cezear Sandio, Father of the Nicaraguan Revolution.

Each person has inside a basic decency and goodness. If he/she listens
to it and acts on it, he/she is giving a great deal of what it is the
world needs most. It is not complicated but it takes courage. It takes
courage for a person to listen to his/her own goodness and act on it.

--Pablo Casals 

I was barely not a boy when you called 
me father, papa en Espanol.

You, Juanita, stricken with Polio,
your face and limbs, fissile, useless

dangle to sides like discarded threads, 
or the child you were, dismissed for frailty.

Each day I came to visit,
you screamed for me shrill, eyes

boundless, head thrust back, tilted uncontrollable.
Held feather light flimsy body, contorted arms locked in mine,

tortured laps around decaying courtyard garden
of the hospital that is your lifelong home.

Fed you each day for months
each bite you choked down

a painful victory followed by relief,
and a reminder of the cruelties of existence.

Never spoke of the future
we both knew all too well,

When it was time for me to return, you would think I, 
like the others, left because of you.


Copyright 2003 Rich Furman




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