Poem by Pablo Neruda
Panama, your geography granted you
a gift that no other land was given:
two oceans pushed forward to meet you:
the cordillera tapered naturally:
instead of one ocean, it gave you the water
of the two sovereigns of the foam;
the Atlantic kisses you with lips
that habitually kiss the grapes
while the Pacific Ocean shakes
in your honor its cyclonic nature.
but men from other parts
brought to you their yoke
and spilled nothing but whiskey
since they mortgaged your waistline:
and everything follows as it was planned
by devils and their lies:
with their money they built the canal;
they dug the earth with your blood
and now dollars are sent to New York
leaving you the graves.
like Panamanian wind asks
like a child that has lost its mother
where is the flag of my country?
From “History of a Canal,” XXXIII by Pablo Neruda.