A Poem and Translation

//A Poem and Translation

A Poem and Translation

By Sima Rabinowitz

Nuestra Música

Hay silencios sagrados
las pausas frágiles entre palabras

Hay silencios desgraciados
quedarnos mudos cuando hay tanto que exige expresión

Hay silencios inesperados
ya no recuerdo el timbre de tu voz

Hay silencios desanimados
tener que repetir una vez más nuestra petición

Hay silencios que insisten
que resisten
que saben salvarse

Hay silencios que son como museos
archivos de almas desvanecidos

Hay silencios que sueñan
con una noche—una sola noche—sin tiros

Hay silencios que inventan su propia historia
para no dejarnos sin narrativa

Hay silencios que inspiran
una íntima benedición tentativa

Hay silencios que hacen una tregua con la noche
ocultando sus motivos

Hay silencios que nos da la fuerza
de seguir siendo testigos

Hay silencios robados, fallados, falsificados

Hay silencios engañados, lastimados, dañados

Y hay silencios que ruegan ser llenados
de un canto humilde de amor

Our Music

Some silences are sacred
the fragile pauses between words

Some silences are disgraceful
we are mute when there is so much to say

Some silences are unexpected
I no longer remember the sound of your voice

Some silences are weary
having to repeat our request, once again

Some silences insist
some resist
some know how to save themselves

Some silences are like museums
archives of vanished souls

Some silences dream
of one night—just one single night—empty of the sound of gunfire

Some silences invent their own history
so we won’t be left without a story

Some silences inspire
a tentative, intimate prayer

Some silences call a truce with the night
hiding their motives

Some silences give us the strength
to carry on serving as witnesses

Some silences are stolen, mistaken, false

Some silences are deceptive, damaged, injured

And some silences beg to be filled
with a humble song of love

Sima Rabinowitz is the author of The Jewish Fake Book (Elixir Press) and Murmuration (New Michigan Press). Her prose and poetry have appeared recently in The Saint Ann’s Review, Amp, Hamilton Arts & Letters, and Trivia: Voices of Feminism. She wrote “Nuestra Música” for her dearest friends and her community in the Bronx.

Photo credit: K. Kendall via a Creative Commons license.

By | 2017-03-29T20:23:34+00:00 March 30th, 2017|Categories: Issue 18: 30 Mar 2017|Tags: , |5 Comments


  1. Karen Malpede 2017-03-30 at 8:23 am

    What a powerful, beautiful poem.

  2. A Meier 2017-03-30 at 9:39 am

    Wow — that is so poignant and beautiful

  3. dale irwin 2017-03-30 at 1:10 pm

    very powerful.

  4. Lauralee 2017-03-31 at 6:27 am

    Silence is powerful and hurtful – we must always remember that! You are a beautiful soul and see so much.

  5. Linda 2017-04-04 at 6:22 am

    This is just so beautiful–and resonates so deeply

Comments are closed.