by Alex Valente.
Original Italian by Sibilla Aleramo, ‘Donna nel domani del mondo’.
I am pregnant with you,
woman who’ll live in the world’s tomorrow.
In a distant year
my flesh created,
my fibres remember,
each day a darkened labour
bodily suffering tamed by will
and sweetened ineffably
Now in me not a man’s seed
not an embryo fed by my blood
but in my spirit
lies the eager image of you, woman,
of the you who will be
slowly molded, nurtured
knocking at doors wanting life,
fully formed at last
in auras of freedom and truth
woman in the world’s tomorrow.
I carry you with me, a clear image,
contrast and complement
to my heart’s troubles,
hurting for so many today
hurting for inhuman toils
hurting for dehuman children
or for children kidnapped in war,
or inanimate objects of lust,
oh my discouraged kin, shame on all!
And I hear others shrieking
unknowingly laughing along
and I see others in shock
more self-absorbed than their men
greedy yearning toxic riches.
As if I held you in me
I focus on you, in you, creature of new
on your future features
creature fully true of a life of truth achieved,
a life redeemed of its beastly remains,
as this land grows each day more beautiful
with everyone’s toil a fervent hymn
harmonious hymn of the human spirit.
And I am not alone, more and more
just like me carry you within
and in flashes of blessings
something of your gaze shines through,
the image of you our safety
the image of you our hope
as the world today derides us,
bitter and blind opposes us
oh all you brave and fighting
girls, wives, tender powerful old
in proud labour and still ineffably
by your arrival, woman, in the world’s tomorrow
in this sibling shelter
just and good
and finally worthy of glory,
you, harmonious queen of freedom and truth.