To My Brother Miguel (in memoriam) by Cesar Vallejo
by Steven McCabe
Brother, I’m sitting on the bench at our house
where your absence is a bottomless pit.
I remember that this is the time we used to play
and that Mama would pat us and say, “Boys, boys…”
Now I’m hiding, as I used to,
from all those eventide prayers,
and hoping you don’t stumble upon me.
Through the sala, the entry hall, the corridors.
Later, you go hide, and I don’t find you.
I remember that we made each other cry
brother, playing that game.
Miguel, you hid
one night in August, near dawn;
but instead of laughing, as you hid, you were sad.
And your twin heart from those bygone
afternoons is weary from not finding you. And now
a shadow is falling over my soul.
Listen, brother, don’t wait too long to come out.
All right? You might upset Mama.
Translated by Margaret Sayers Peden