Los lobos del yermo / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Wolves of the Waste Land

     The noblemen rarely leave the asylum of their tower. They watch beneath and around them, a contour of rocks of mineral sterility.
     A black bird flies vertically from the earth and traces an obstinate circuit in the heights.
     Popular imagination sees in the obsessive bird the soul of the previous Spaniard, progenitor of the current unruly youths.
     They were born of a kidnapped girl, charged, until death, with affronts and blows. They keep the memory of her suffering stance.
     The villains censor and reject excess. They hope to manifest their own resentment along with that of their ancestors.
     They helped each other out, badly armed and as a troop, in the turns and corners of a hollow mountain, bordering the tower, and they were able to take down the throng of their leaders.
     The vanquished young fighters resist one against two and back down, without turning the sword, until they can take shelter.
     The villains agree they must assault the tower, the result of an impious war. Their emissaries visit remote villages, in search of men and supplies.
     The enthusiastic and young crowd arrives suddenly, carrying serious weapons, lifting colorful pendants.
     It attacks again and again, retreats in disorder. The aggressors succumb, by squadrons, beneath a rain of cantos and arrows. Their chiefs scold them, raising desperate arms over their heads.
     They organize, during a moment’s truce, the unanimous attack and match up bridges and scales, to beat the resistance of avenues and doors.
     This is how they’re able to break the indifference of the tottering victory.
     They enter the overwhelmed tower proffering threats and imposing them without mercy, until it’s empty.
     The victors surround it in flames, and leave on the ground, as the only vestige, a stain of fire.
     The peasants eventually stop seeing, throughout the entire circle, the saturnine bird.

La torre de Timón (1925)

{ José Antonio Ramos Sucre, Obra completa, Caracas: Biblioteca Ayacucho, 1989 }

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