The other cheek

Poem By Fernando Pinto do Amaral

You'll be back here, you'll feel
the world's stupidity like a pendulum
striking the right hours
in the rhythm of days, weeks,
months or years which will
travel fast without you noticing,
till they dissolve heaven and hell and your last
hints of pride. You'll learn
to love those who hate you
and to drown your dark bile
in the current of that river you call
forgiveness or oblivion.
You'll be back here, you'll wear
the crown of thorns that fits you
so well, you'll lie
again to those people, obey
with an innocuous smile the traffic
of petty bureaucratic plots, the
envious traps, the most iniquitous
human crimes - all that which
somebody will later on
merely call injustice.
You'll be back here, you'll know
how to offer them the other cheek.

Translated by Ana Hudson

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