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THE LEPERS

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The lepers,

the sons of the street,

the outcastes who are always with us,

the homeless,

the unemployed,

the vagrants,

the immigrants without a country,

those without documents,

the beggars,

the down and outs,

the ragged,

the poorest of the poor,

people full of sores,

the ones without rights,

the wetbacks,

the empty stomachs,

the ones that don't count

the excluded,

the failures,

the simple-minded,

the owners of nothing,

the losers,

the nameless,

the nobodies...

 

The Lepers,

who don't count,

who can't read but only spell the odd letter,

who don't speak languages, only dialects,

who can't sing in tune without singing flat,

who don't believe in religions but only superstitions,

who have no poetry only tragedy,

who don't accumulate capital but only debts,

who can't produce art but only craft,

who don't take part in culture but only feature as figurines,

who are never players but only spectators,

who are not recognised as citizens but only as foreigners,

who never become actors but only stay in the chorus,

who don't walk on carpets but only on earthen floors,

who never are awarded credit but are thrown out from their homes,

who don't innovate but are only recycled,

who never board yachts but only become boat people,

who are not considered professionals but only pawns,

who never get to university but never go beyond primary school,

who don't sit at table but only on the floor,

whose only medicines are being licked by friendly dogs,

who don't complain because they are resigned,

who don't have a name but only a number,

who aren't considered human beings but only human resources...

 

The lepers,

those that are ashamed and cause us to feel shame,

they people our history,

they were your chosen ones,

and they mentioned throughout your gospel.

 

The lepers,

belong to our our family

though they don't appear in the photo,

and it will be they who give us back our identity

and our lost dignities.

 

Florentino Ulibarri

Traducción de Hugo Castelli

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