For Freedom

For freedom, I bleed, fight, survive.
For freedom, my eyes and my hands,
like a fleshy tree, generous and captive,
I give to the surgeons.
For freedom I feel more hearts
in my chest than there are grains of sand: foam flows
into my veins
and I enter the hospitals, and enter
in cotton balls
like in lilies.

Because where empty eye sockets
appear at dawn,
freedom will put two pebbles of future eye-sight
and new arms and new legs
will grow
in the knocked-down flesh.

Relics of my body lost
from each wound
will sprout again with winged sap and no autumn,
because I am like the felled tree
that sprouts again.
I sprout and will always sprout again to life.

(Miguel Hernández, 1910-1942)

Translated by Mertxe de Renobales Scheifler