The Tears of the Sun

Look at this room, it is my prison

Look at these hands, no longer young

Look in my eyes, am I a sinner?

My head hangs low, my heart undone

I wash these basins for the workers

I sweep this floor, I scrub these stalls

It’s honest work that I do gladly

But I feel dirty, crushed and small


In my land of many mountains

My husband shone just like the sun

A policeman, tall and steady

He was happy, we were one

Trouble came and life there ended

All of our loved ones disappeared

A life in  uniform was deadly

A shining path to what we feared


I’ve woven a blanket of the tears of the sun

When my sorrows have all ended

You’ll forget what I have done

Wrap me in that garment and lay me in a place

Where the condor soars above me

And the earth hides my disgrace


We left our city in the mountains

The morning birds of brightest wing

We took our flight on wings of silver

And lost the song we used to sing

Harsh his hand, harder his glances

No work to do, no source of pride

Living in fear of his frustrations

I remain silent by his side


Three tiny mouths crying with hunger

Leaving them daily filled with fear

Wondering now why did I bear them

Wondering why I brought I brought them here

Sharing our home with several indios

Sharing our bread ‘til it gives out

Dare I ask room for one more body?

Dare I claim bread for one more mouth?


I ask you now what are my choices?

Surely the choice for me is made

Though there be life inside my belly

Can it be life that it awaits?


You are a friend, you ask no questions

And I ask nothing of you now

But that your silence might release me

But that your love might bear me home



© 1997 Pamela Cardullo Ortiz