Vamos llegando (We are arriving) – poem & song

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Almost 10 years ago I wrote this poem entitled “encontrando espacio” (finding space) that was published in my 2008 poetry book “más allá del mar”. Italian composer, Massimiliano Agelao, created a song, entitled “vamos llegando” (we are arriving) that was recorded – and performed, by a young group of musicians and singers in Colombia, called Grupo Musicalizando.
The song and the poem are a tribute to all the men and women who courageously challenge borders in search of a better future for themselves and their families … a tribute to the migrants of the whole world. I these worrying times of massive walls and deportations, I felt that it was a good time to share it with you.

The poem and the song are in Spanish and the translation is just to help you understand it; it is not, by any means a poetic translation…

finding space

we are arriving
leaving behind
memories and farewells,
disembarking on desolate docks,
climbing seawalls with nails and scratches,
bearing the weight of our skin,
our name,
our language,
our country,
our entire continent.

we are arriving

to fill buses, wagons,
to populate cold streets,
stairs, elevators,
to go unnoticed,
invisible to distrusting eyes
inspections, unforeseen threats.

foreign words
find their space on the table,
appear in our wallets,
in the shirt pockets,

one by one
they stand by the door
one by one
they make their way in

and the first sentences are organized
like hanging bridges over avenues,
like communicating vessels with the gray faces,
with impassive eyes,
that remove the air from our lungs.

we are arriving

to fill the spaces
that others have left before,
to knit hopes
with the threads of dreams
which we bring tangled in our throats,
trying to find an open hand,
an outstretched hand

and in one instant we are
thousands thousands thousands thousands thousands
lining up
to be accepted,

and there are times when we are

alone

lining up
to be deported

Hugo Cuevas-Mohr
más allá del mar (2008)