Reading Galeano

by Mark Chmiel

Lindsay Weston recently wrote me
Asked if I could recommend anything to read

Instantly I thought of the trilogy
So long on my shelf

Barely perused but
Now may be the time!

I sent word back to Lindsay
“Eduardo Galeano’s Memory of Fire trilogy”

Genesis
Faces & Masks

Century of the Wind
911 pages

I figure we could read
One volume per season

(Everybody’s busy
So many things to do)

Autumn, winter, spring
Meet to discuss

Once per book
Or twice or three times

Depending on what
People are up for

We in Saint Louis can even arrange to Skype
To connect with friends in

Manhattan
San Salvador

Pittsburgh
Santiago

Philadelphia
León

Baltimore
Belo Horizonte

But you may have lively ideas of your own how to proceed!
So please post below

If you are willing to confront
The histories of the Americas

As told by a dissident journalist
And savorer of stories

With kindred spirits
Friends on the path

 

From v. 3, Century of the Wind
1980: San Salvador
The Offering

Until a couple of years ago, he got along well with God. Now he speaks with and for everyone. Each child of the people tormented by the powerful is a child of God crucified; and in the people God is renewed after each crime the powerful commit. Now Monseñor Romero, archbishop of El Salvador, world-breaker, world-revealer, bears no resemblance to the babbling shepherd of souls whom the powerful used to applaud. Now ordinary people interrupt with ovations his sermons denouncing state terrorism.

Yesterday, Sunday, the archbishop exhorted the police and soldiers to disobey the order to kill their campesino brothers. In the name of Christ, Romero told the Salvadoran people: Arise and go.

Today, Monday, the murderer arrives at the church escorted by two police patrols. He enters and waits, hidden behind a pillar. Romero is celebrating Mass. When he opens his arms and offers the bread and the wine, body and blood of the people, the murderer pulls the trigger.

Trilogy

 

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