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Claribel Alegría (1924–2018)

From the Bridge

I never found the order
I searched for
but always a sinister
and well-planned disorder
that increases in the hands
of those who hold power
while the others
who clamor for
a more kindly world
a world with less hunger
and more hopefulness
die of torture
in the prisons.
Don't come any closer
there's a stench of carrion
surrounding me.

Claribel Alegría was born to Nicaraguan and Salvadoran parents in Estelí, Nicaragua, on May 12, 1924. She moved to the United States in 1943, graduating from George Washington University in 1948. In 1985 she moved back to Nicaragua. Her work was featured in Bill Moyers’ PBS series, “The Language of Life.” Her forty books of poems, fiction, non-fiction, and children's stories have been translated into more than ten languages.

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