Saturday, September 1, 2012

Tormenta (1906)


     The first drops of rain – crystal and silver rain – thrummed pompously over the nipa thatches of the hut. A hot wind, like a breath of lust, shook the banana plants of the uncultivated ground; the red flash of lightning set on fire the whole forest, and like crackling on the very foreheads of the woodcutters, an immense thunderclap opened the arch of its thunderous noise.
     “Mother, there’s a storm”
     “Yes, my dear son, go…”
     And she kissed his forehead


     She was a mother who had nothing in the world except that child, half of her heart.
     She was a poor woman, widow of a woodcutter, without any treasures but the boy, the hope of her life.
     And the boy was given fifty centavos to ring the bell of the secluded chapel of Ermita during a storm.


     In the sky, black like the pearls of Ormuz, the flashes of lightning sparkled like in silvery fantasies.
    The forest trembled under the claps of thunder; the rain continued thrumming over the nipa thatches of the hut…
    Finally, the sound of a bell vibrated from afar…
    “Clang!... Claang!...Claaang! …”


    Her eyes opened, frightened and sorrowful, her heart throbbed like a captive bird, and before an old image of Christ, lean and bloodstained, her lips said, trembling and in prayer:
    “My Jesus, by the steps You took in the street of Sorrow while burdened with your cross, have pity on my son!...”


    The rain was becoming heavier, the woodcutters fled fearfully to their huts; the poor women lighted yellow candles and sputtered through gabbled prayers; some abandoned goats whined under branches of trees.
    And the humble sound of the bell, riding on each thunderbolt, sain crying:
    “Clang!... Claang!...Claaang! …”


    Suddenly a lightning flashed in the darkness like a serpent of rubies and carnations.
    The bell of Ermita did not ring.


    The black clouds fled with the winds and thunder.
    The fragrant and humid night smiled diaphanously in her starry splendor.
    And at the foot of the poor mother, of the poor, delirious, and insane mother, was found the body of the dead boy, under the golden rays of the moon.

Jesús Balmori
El Renacimeinto
November 24, 1906

Translated to English by Pilar E. Mariño

Link to Spanish Version

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