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Jacqueline to her friends

Norma Yurich

The title of this poem is the answer that my daughter gave me whenever I called her Jackie.
Her mother, Santiago, December 1994.

Trees with make-up faces,
With a weapon under the arm
I dreamt of you,
and a cry dull and savage
enfolded my streets Jacqueline
I reviewed my thoughts yesterday
and found your friends
full of love
they didn’t know where to find you:
The only ones that know is them
The enemies of the people

At times I think at times:
at times I believe, at times
at times I don’t believe it
and at times
I know is true.

girl – woman
I breathe the Andes range mountains
from one end to the other
and in that I scan them all with my eyes
just in case I find you

My oxygen will run out. And
the door
will open in one knock
through which my oblivion
shall pass

When the magnolia tree remains alone
it sings by night fall

over the useless land
in the little cold corner of my dreams
you come out
and break my voice
then I stop myself

I switch on the radio and close to the music
I placed my solitude on the window sill
to play and refresh itself among the trees
scaping from the smog
I write you this long letter
that shall never reach you
but others
meanwhile I concentrate

I make whirlpools
in the universe of my anguish
but now I have persuaded myself
that I won’t see you again
neither will you see me ever
thus, you will cross the century
through those who will come
with a new force

Of blood, pains
and death
my country’s womb
although nothing of you would have been lost.
All for a renewed people

Sleep under the music of rain
What music?
the music of the shanty towns for example?
over coughs and hunger?
Jacqueline, above or underneath in the cold.
Rain, rain, rain, rain and rain…
I feel the sorrow incarnated in my heart.
And that daily void between my temples
Because those who have concealed you
are hiding behind the high society mask
Because they fired to eternal hatred
hatred that engulfed us, and then
sowed around the world.

When I understood the truth
that I would never find you
not even to lay down a single carnation
I then felt the transformation.
My love for you, was the love for the world.
Before I was falling slowly down
but I was able to emerge, Jacqueline
I could not evade.

Like an earthquake
burying houses
tearing roads
breaking pipes
stinguishing lights;
demolishing everything
as it was with you Jacqueline
my city was destroyed.

Like a volcano to the limits of its resistance
blazing rivers run down
over my black blouse
How to explain what happened to me and to them.
How to explain, How to explain it.?
How to stay quiet.

Frustration is where you have caged me in, Jacqueline
the sun that you switched off
the mountain I am still climbing.

The squares and the shops
the crowds, and still being seen by the guards.
With our pupils full of sad tears
and their salted rage.

At that time Jacqueline
you lived there:
when the southern wind hurled itself full of force on the pavement
without regard for anybody,
even the most disposed

Some night I will forget this book with all its sadness
and others will remember
what I bear night after night.

Today twenty six of January someone told me
“write Norma, write everything you feel
Everything that appeases you”…
And here I am Jacqueline
With tearful eyes feeling you.

A noise at midnight reminds me of your heart who knows how.
but the noises from the traffic in the day distract me, reminding me that I must remember not to remember
even not to forget.

The rough scent of the figs trees rolls me to another life:
the one I had before you, Jacqueline
I can’t imagine what it was like
And what it will follow after the sea?...

The sound of Manzanero’s voice pour out of the loudspeakers
sticking like sugar to your skin
and in your orange dress you listened:
…“with you I learned that a week has more than seven days…”
and you Jacqueline knew nothing.
Neither did us,
that under the shadows of that music you were saying farewell to all.
While you were falling in love with your beloved
Who would also go down with you.

My hatred for the wretched ones grips my veins
and also my words,
only a black river drains, endless, as wide as space.
I wake up early with birds that are like little clattering wheels,
to remind me that my thoughts are capable of many things and that I’m alive
The sea breaks with its waters
the sand palaces until they are destroyed.
And it does no finish.
Its force does not finish nor its persistence, until they are destroyed
And shall not finish ever
So that when you and I are no more
Other sands shall rise, and will go on growing.
And so on…

Have you realized from over there?
From whatever side or depth?
How many walk through the corners and length of this country without ever finding anyone?
I don’t want to hear talking about your sad heart,
As you walked on the stones blindfolded.
While walking I bumped into memory
And do you know what I did?
I thought of something else.
I don’t know what.
Yesterday I spoke to you about my mother and my body was broken.
Time was one single avalanche over words
Tired of the cold waters.
The icy wind
Of the night raining under the sky,
I run after your nameless heart amid shadows…
Your departure has shattered my bones
As if the train in which you left
had run me over.

I never understood what could be nothingness, until you were no longer inside the air.
So many years sleeping in the frost
With endless pupils
Having to rebirth to die.
To have to sleep to see the dawn
The moment to know other friends stopped.
Your body was stopped.
My time was stopped.
Everything stopped.
Even the earth.
Simply it was like death itself; air, punctual and for ever.

The third of December nineteen forty nine.
You were a little honey girl pouring your heart so pure over my breasts.
When you became a woman you learnt to fly over another body.
You gave your heart to another and both became one thought
Creating a black star between my eyes
But your heart and his are my fortress.

There is nothing that can break the turmoil entangled in my temples when the days were passing and I didn’t find you.
And so we were left: without meeting.

The vegetation grows and I marvel myself when the earth cracks.
And I don’t like saying “split”.
Because today Jacqueline; language makes no sense

This morning you are a tree.
A tree that spreads its aroma around the yard where we live.
you are a small basket of white – lilac magnolias and green tender leaves,
you will be the smile of sadness and the tears over joy.
I shall have you within my reach, revive with you.

I am not interested in the enemies anymore.
I know that they will never be judged; only Chile’s face in full light
So that the very pavements spit on them.

With messy years like my heart.
thus beaten in different ways
withered and in agony
I was left like that

I write
I write to you:
Because it is impossible to seal the facts that have branded us
And going on walking lost is just spinning around
the same apex and I only have a few hours left
to do the many things still undone.

And on that wall your picture with Marcelo.
or of Andre Jarlan
with his arms crossed and still sitting on a chair

Jacqueline, are you by his side.
I think of you.
I think of him.
In Marcelo your companion.
In everybody
I think of the wretched shanty town dwellers.
And I buy the newspaper, to find on its pages Rodrigo and Carmen Gloria
merciless set on fire alive by “ the brave soldiers” on broad day light in a street corner.
and I think of your strong heart enduring, helpless
without us.

So many things to tell so as not to forget, such us;
Javiera Parada weakening my soul while telling me of her father’s kidnapping and successive events
I think of Lonquen
or in Barriga’s slope
and so add on
and on.
Arcadia Flores and her family.
Paulina Aguirre only twenty years old and shot on her door’s step.
Husbands and wives.
fathers and sons.
Youth and elderly
thinking alike: their people.
pregnant girls and many more
how selfish to think of me only.
When there are thousands on whom to think


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