Simon Bolivar

Simon Bolivar; mixed media; 40×30 in; 2010

You died like any other man:
breathing a last time.
Now that I am twice as old as you were,
I remember you in my dreams
braving the chilling winds
of snow-covered mountains
riding you faithful horse
–strong and sure footed–
over walls of frigid stones
in search of one more victory
that could perhaps seal
the freedom of five nations
that stubbornly rejected
breaking their subjugating chains.

You did not deserve to die
like any other man,
even worse,
forgotten by your people,
wasting away,
while bacteria feasted on your flesh
like a candle assuaged by mild winds.
You rejected gold and glory
to see one nation live,
and at the end
only your eyes,
too large for the dying face,
could see the future
already written on
the snow-covered Andean mountains
that were crying for your death.

Saúl Balagura