Let Them Talk

Poem by Emilio Prados
Let them talk, let them talk,
let the crows flap their wings,
for what my eyes have seen
must not die in silence.
I will tell what I saw;
let them talk, let them talk.
For if I have seen blood
so spilled on the wind
that my memory burns me
and keeps me from sleep,
that its red cry of flame
still aches in my nails,
I must not hold my tongue.
Let them talk, let them talk.
When evening awoke
on the drowsy port
that awaited its stars
among boats and flags,
evil stars arrived,
evil treacherous guns.
Evil drummers played,
false voices were heard:

Friends, we are brothers,
we're comrades all:
but keep your hands high
and your guns on the ground.
Friend, I'm unarmed,
without guns, without money;
breadless my children
await my heart's sorrow.

Don't talk so much, fellow.
Now, up with your hands!
Fire!
Aí,
evil evening of death,
hollow-heart evening.
They say that our justice
is terror, ill-will,
that no human warmth
burns in our heart.
They say we sow sorrow
and harvest but hate,
that women and children
flee us like poison.
They say we crush wheat,
that we ruin the crops,
that we sow only hunger
and sorrow for winter,
that we burn without mercy
olives and plowland,
that we tear up the belly
and soul of our people.
Let the Fascists talk,
for the truth of what happened
and the truth that we fight for
will yet light the sky.
If now they fear justice,
if before their harsh flight
their nights are in terror,
their nerves are strained,
tell them we never wanted
this moment to come
with its hard wrinkled foreheads
and firm fearless fists.
Tell them the people
only asked work and peace,
sure bread and no fears,
brotherhood and clear skies.
Their black pride has aroused
that which hunts them through dreams.
Let them talk, let them talk,
all over the world,
for we carry the truth
like a light in our breast.
Let them talk, let them talk,
for what I have seen
must not hold itself still.
I have seen the blood flow,
breaking off the first steps
of a man's strong trunk.
The ground is still damp
with his eyes of fear
and the rose of his body;
with bullets black conscience
cut the stem of his throat.
Death came to shroud him
with her reddest bandana,
and Death fled weeping,
swearing vengeance for grief:
a fallen boy's grief,
a dead boy's silence.

I have seen the highways
filled with hungry
women and children
bleeding with terror
and the smell of fear:
anguished processions
that seek the calm breast
of our triumphant city
now freed from mad dogs.
If we sow only hatred,
if they fear only us,
why do women and children
run to our arms
trembling like lambs,
hungry for warmth?
Ask to their faces,
for their silence says more
than the loudest words
that can cross the wind.
Let them talk, let them talk,
with tricks and with lies,
for with crimes and with treason,
nothing ever was won.
Let them talk, for I saw
the gypsies and sailors,
riflemen, soldiers,
Civil Guard shock-troops
rise in an instant
and join the people
who with fists of steel
can revenge this treason
and erase its black footprints.
Who dares? Whoever,
right lies with the people!
If today they fear justice,
they have started the fire.

Let them talk, let them talk,
all over the world,
for the truth now lights
its red dawn in the sky!
(Contributed by daniel on Thursday, February 17th, 2011)
 
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Spanish Literature