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Lament for the Disappeared Ones

December 17, 1989

by Martin Robbins A los cinco de la manana-- at five in the morning. More or less. The time didn't have to be exact. No one was watching, no one would cry out when they stormed in and took them away, a son or daughter, students of a new dawn, at five in the morning. At five in the morning, when Boston streets are still, the wind carries screams of torture from the "operating rooms" of secret prisons. Gray dawn bloodies the air as mourning doves are drowned out by the voices of eagles, the Generals alone with their hearts towered in the Pink House. "they got off easy." Again and again, I wire the names that I fear are lost: Epelbaum, Bonafina, Mignone. The rest is death and only death. A los cinco de la manana.

From "A Year With Two Winters" (The St. Andrews Press, St. Andrews Presbyterian College, Lurinburg, NC 28352: $10, paper; 74 pp.; 0-932662-85-4.) The lines above are a portion of a much longer poem by the same title. Robbins is an American poet who spent the year 1973 in Argentina as a Fulbright lecturer. "A Year With Two Winters" is the reprint of a 1984 edition that contained a foreword by Robert Cox, former editor of the Buenos Aires Herald. The new edition contains an afterword by the same writer. 1989, Martin Robbins. Reprinted by permission of the author.

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