Dignity becomes a habit
with the silence of an underwarer rock,
with consciousness subjected to steel,
with death preparing its knives,
he felt himself stripped of hair, of blood and of nails,
of eyes and skin, as if they were
a violent baggage, the only baggage,
or a canopy, a blind, a stubborn window,
that would attack the eyes of the executioners
of Bautista van Schouwen, compañeros.
Who would have thought that he could
crown his conduct with silence,
remember the essence of decency,
and gather on his luminous body
the blows given to his people,
the thorn and the chain.
Bautista van Schouwen has grown forever
into a fruitful seed that from this lime on
will give us dignity which will become a habit,
write of in every jail of the world.
Drying up his memory,
closing his mouth,
he never said a word or a date,
or a name, or a country,
or a river, or a flower,
or a forest, or a bee
that could serve
as map for the executioners of his people.
That is all.
Everything is that simple, compañeros.
In the hard moment of reality,
he cuts like a waterfall,
declaring his silence invincible.
He turns into furious metal.
He becomes an impenetrable forest.
He covers himself with determination.
He embraces himself with consciousness.
He has humiliated the claws
that raked his skin.
And in that way his torment becomes a furrow,
and when they beat him into the earth
they leave seed.