April 2, 2018
The recent mobilizations against the powerful gun lobby in the United States are encouraging more and more people to speak out. Alberto Sandoval-Sánchez, writer and Professor of Spanish and U.S. Latina/o literature at Mount Holyoke College recently penned a poem inspired by the activist work of Emma Gonzalez, one of the survivors of the February 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida. Sandoval-Sánchez’s work focuses on Latina/os and the LGBT community among others. His poem “The Day After” is circulating on social media and now we are bringing it to ESENDOM readers.
"The Day After"
You went back and forth from
the underworld yesterday.
Te escuché ayer.
I thought you were letting silence be the voice of the dead.
Letting all the dead from your high school,
Letting all the dead silenced after a gun shot,
Letting all the dead forgotten and remembered,
Letting all of them,
SPEAK AND BE HEARD
All at the same time.
I knew it was not a minute of silence.
No eran 60 segundos.
Era una eternidad.
There was not enough time
to let all the dead speak en 60 segundos.
I then thought Emma meant to stop time
to make us understand how silent the world becomes
after our beloved ones die.
All we are left with is silence.
I know that silence.
(Don't ask me why.)
The expected minute was turning into eternity.
The audience got anxious and confused.
No language but tears.
A river of tears instead of blood.
Un río de lágrimas y un mar de sangre.
the alarm went off.
You had relived, and made spectators relive,
the 6 minutos and 20 segundos the gun rampage went on.
All that trauma embodied in your silence
made the dead speak and be heard.
The dead spoke!
They had la última palabra,
de por siempre,
por una eternidad.
My dear Emma,
tu río de lágrimas de sangre said it all.
We heard the dead!
Vivan los muertos!