Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 6
Fall 2012

[One Poem]

by Graciela Huinao

Translated from Spanish by Margaret Towner

Childhood Grief

I keep in my gaze
the childhood grief
of an eternal distance
that cannot stop 
the scent, the taste
of when I was
the only inhabitant 
in your arms

Luto Infantil

Sostengo en la mirada
un luto infantil.
De una eterna lejanĂ­a
que no impide
el aroma, el sabor
cuando era 
la Ășnica habitante
en tus brazos


SHJ Issue 6
Fall 2012

Graciela Huinao

is an indigenous Mapuche poet from southern Chile. Writing in Spanish, she is the first woman poet of her people to be published. In 1987 her first poem appeared in a newspaper in Santiago, and in 1994 several of her poems appeared in an anthology in the United States, Ül: Four Mapuche Poets.

Since then she has traveled throughout the world to share her poetry and culture. She has been published in France, Poland, Sweden, Uzbekistan, Macedonia, Romania, China, United States, and most countries in Central and South America. Huinao has co-edited two anthologies of Mapuche poetry written by women from Chile, and in 2009 published the first Mapuche novel.


SHJ Issue 6
Fall 2012

Margaret Towner

is a teacher of English learners and students at-risk in reading. Helping students discover the magic of language and literacy when they do not believe that they can learn to read is a true honor for her. She has lived for many years in Latin America and has three bilingual children. Translating poetry from Spanish to English, writing children’s music, and performing Latin American music are ways in which she shares her diverse life with others.

Towner received the Jan Buel Bradley Chapbook Award in 2005, and her poetry will appear in two upcoming anthologies: Silver Birch Anthology and the Cancer Poetry Project Anthology.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury