Miguel Hernández - 1910-1942
Lullaby of the Onion
The onion is frost shut in and poor. Frost of your days and of my nights. Hunger and onion, black ice and frost large and round. My little boy was in hunger's cradle. He was nursed on onion blood. But your blood is frosted with sugar, onion and hunger. A dark woman dissolved in moonlight pours herself thread by thread into the cradle. Laugh, son, you can swallow the moon when you want to. Lark of my house, keep laughing. The laughter in your eyes is the light of the world. Laugh so much that my soul, hearing you, will beat in space. Your laughter frees me, gives me wings. It sweeps away my loneliness, knocks down my cell. Mouth that flies, heart that turns to lightning on your lips. Your laughter is the sharpest sword, conqueror of flowers and larks. Rival of the sun. Future of my bones and of my love. The flesh fluttering, the sudden eyelid, and the baby is rosier than ever. How many linnets take off, wings fluttering, from your body! I woke up from childhood: don't you wake up. I have to frown: always laugh. Keep to your cradle, defending laughter feather by feather. Yours is a flight so high, so wide that your body is a sky newly born. If only I could climb to the origin of your flight! Eight months old you laugh with five orange blossoms. With five little ferocities. With five teeth like five young jasmine blossoms. They will be the frontier of tomorrow's kisses when you feel your teeth as weapons, when you feel a flame running toward your gums driving toward the centre. Fly away, son, on the double moon of the breast: it is saddened by onion, you are satisfied. Don't let go. Don't find out what's happening, or what goes on.