The Poor

By Roberto Sosa Roberto Sosa

Translated from the Spanish by Spencer Reece Read the translator's notes

The poor are many
and so—
impossible to forget.

No doubt,
as day breaks,
they see the buildings
where they wish
they could live with their children.

can steady the coffin
of a constellation on their shoulders.
They can wreck
the air like furious birds,
blocking out the sun.

But not knowing these gifts,
they enter and exit through mirrors of blood,
walking and dying slowly.

And so,
one cannot forget them.

Source: Poetry (March 2012).


This poem originally appeared in the March 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

March 2012


Roberto Sosa (1930–2011) spent his early life working menial jobs to support his family. Sosa published Los Pobres, his first book, in 1969, which won the Adonais Prize in Spain. He edited the magazine Presente and taught literature at a university in Honduras.

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SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Class

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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