Jaiko Jimenez


The house does not fall
Even when she turns to dust and ash.
Birds still sing from the tile roof,
Eyes are still found in the windows.

The house does not fall even when they set fire on her.
The neighbor`s dog still barks;
The neighbor, the dog, the barks…
Still there is life inside the house.

The house does not fall even when they blow her with mallets,
Even when they throw down the already rotten wood
Even when we are all cast out
With barely two pennies for the road.

The house does not fall
Because she has a soul,
Because we are all here made of stone
And made of sun;
This is why the house does not fall
Because we carry her in our chest,
Here inside she burns us, she bites us,
She does not fall.

The house does not fall
Because there is a child playing with his spinning top made of bottle cap and nail,
Because there is still memory for the grandfather and his stories,
And because no one has surrendered,
The house does not fall.

The house does not fall because no one has fallen here,
Because the house has blood and walks on,
Because still rice with coconut is eaten on Sundays,
The Combos Nacionales are still listened to
And more English than Spanish is spoken.

The house does not fall because we are strong
Because the chomba struggles for her children
Because at the first hour prayer is made
And at the second hour work is made.

The house does not fall,
It remains intact,
Stoical the house,
No water, no light.

The house does not fall because we have dignity
And, even when the grass eats the memory,
There is always some room left for nostalgia.

So small is the house that nobody gets lost,
Full of people who place themselves the best they can.
We sleep so close one to the other that even slumber is shared.

Here everything is very simple,
We cheer up with so little,
Everyday we shake fear off and get out to live;
We hold our hands together
And everyday we thank
For living in a house
That does not fall.

Translation from the spanish by: Edilberto González Trejos

Jaiko Aquilino Jiménez Caín  (1994). Degree in Bilingual Executive Communication from the Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá. It appears in the anthologies “Emerging Poetry of Panama” 2017 and “Panamanian Poetry gathered” 2018. He obtained the first place in the 2016 University Poetry Contest, convened by the University of Panama, with his poems “Verses against forgetting”. With his poems “The Being and Nothing” receives Honorable Mention in the National Young Poetry Contest “Gustavo Batista Cedeño” 2015. Also in 2015 his works “Verses of the childhood house” and “Feeling of a common man” were awarded in the national poetry contest León. A. Soto. In 2017 he published his first book of poems called ‘’ Two ages in the biography of a common man”. In 2018, he published “Against forgetting” with the editorial support of the chifurnia, El Salvador. In 2019 he won the national young poetry contest Gustavo Batista Cedeño with his work “Wandering between dark mazes”. His texts have also been published in various digital and print media in the country.