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Cuánto Más?/How Much Longer? by Martina Gallegos

hearts, image by Ben Kerckx, on Pixabay

Cuánto Más?

Cuántas lágrimas más tengo que derramar?

No soy rio ni mar ni lluvia.

Cuántos latidos mi corazón debe saltar?

No soy ni tambor ni nota musical.

Cuántas plegarias al cielo debo gritar?

Ni soy águila ni jilguero ni cenzontle.

Cuántas veces mi voz van a callar?

Ni soy campanario, cañón o canario.

Cuántas veces mis pensamientos debo guardar?

Mi mente aún respira, al igual que mi cuerpo y mi alma.

Cuántas veces a otros debo caprichos complacer?

No soy ni tú madre, amante o vecina, y menos tu abuela.

Cuántas veces me debo caer y tener que levantar?

No soy ni torero ni jinete ni acróbata.

Cuántas veces debo mi lengua natal ocultar?

Tengo cuerdas vocales. voz y coraje.

Cuántas veces debo pagar por el color de mi piel?

Ni soy canvas, ni acuarelas ni pincel.

No soy matador ni jinete y menos acróbata.

Cuántas veces debo decirle no a mi corazón?

Ni soy roca ni madera muerta.

Cuántas veces a la muerte debo desafiar?

No soy ni vampiro, fantasma o sombra.

Cuántas veces mi sangre debo desperdiciar?

Cuantas veces sea necesario para seguir de pie!


How Much Longer?

How many more tears must I shed?

I’m neither a river, sea, or rain.

How many beats must my heart beat?

I’m neither a drum nor a musical note.

How many pleas must I shout out to the heavens?

I’m neither an eagle, hawk, or mockingbird.

How many times must my voice be silenced?

I’m neither a bell-tower, canyon or canary.

How many times must my thoughts I hide?

My mind still breathes just like my body and my soul.

How many times must I others’ tantrums please?

I’m neither your mother, lover, or neighbor, least your grandmother.

How many times must I fall and rise again?

I’m neither a matador, jockey, or acrobat.

How many times must I hide my native tongue?

I have vocal chords, voice, and courage.

How many times must I pay for the color of my skin?

I’m neither a canvas, watercolor or brush.

How many times must I say no to my heart?

I’m neither a rock nor dead wood.

How many times must I challenge death?

I’m neither a vampire, ghost or shadow.

How many times must I my blood waste?

As many times as necessary to remain on my feet!


Martina Gallegos was born and raised in Mexico and came to the United States at 14. She got a Master’s degree from Grand Canyon University

after a near fatal hemorrhagic stroke. Her works have appeared in the Altadena Poetry Review: Anthologies 2015, 2017, and 2018, Hometown Pasadena, Spirit Fire Review, Poetry Super Highway, Vocal media, Silver Birch Press, Central Coast Poetry Shows, Basta! and, more recently, the award-winning anthology, When the Virus Came Calling: COVID-19 Strikes America, published by Golden Foothills Press, editor, Thelma T. Reyna.

August 2021 issue

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1 Comment

Aug 29, 2021

So touching. And I like that Martina sent us the Spanish version as well as the English. Gracias.

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