Rafaela Padilla

I was going to the clandestine hospital
by the old Phoenix Cinema in Masaya
to give serum to a combatant
wounded in the Retreat.
There the guards
smashed me like a clay pot
with kicks and blows from their rifle butts.
Over the college steps that afternoon
spread a pool of my blood
and my sleek black hair.

I still resist blows, death,
I mind not minding the sick,
leaving my children motherless.
Hospital workers, Doctors, Nurses,
Comrades: our ancient human pain
is new, different and untransferable
in every patient. Remember that.
Don't ever forget.

Julio Valle-Castillo

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