- My Father Died with a Spoonful of Honey
My father diedWith a spoonfulOf honey in his mouthIt was not the New Year thatAlways offeredThe honey of hopeBut one of the many warsThat threatenedThe people of Israel.
My father died with sweetnessIn his worn out lipsHe did not remember his parentsFleeing from the steppes of OdessaOr the trenches of Estonia whereThe voices of the Jews are still cryingIn the most treacherous of silence. [End Page 71]
Mi padre murió en un verano espesoEn otra tierra prestadaEn un idioma ajenoÉl era siempre de otro lugarPero esta vezSe durmió en los brazos de su único hogar:Mi madreQuién humedeció sus labiosCon gusto a mielComo la memoriaDe la esperanzaDe su puebloPerdido en buscaDe una sola estrella o una cuchara de miel. [End Page 72]
My father died one heavy summerIn another borrowed landIn a foreign languageHe was always from somewhere elseBut this timeHe fell asleep in the arms of hisOnly home:My motherWho moistened his lipsWith the taste of honeyLike the memoryOf hopeOf his peopleLost in searchOf a single starOr a spoonful of honey. [End Page 73]
Marjorie Agosín grew up in Santiago Chile hearing the stories of her family who escaped the Holocaust as well as the pogroms. Agosín has documented her family's lives in two memoirs A Cross and a Star and Always from Somewhere Else. She is the author of Among the Angels of Memory, a collection of poetry dedicated to her great grandmother. The author of nearly twenty books as well as the recipient of important literary and Human Rights awards, Agosín is a professor of Spanish at Wellelsey College where she teaches courses on the literature of Latin American Jewish women and on human rights.