[My feet won’t pause]

My feet won’t pause
I won’t get lost on the path
deep footprints scar the earth’s body
many sandals rest here
to mark the path of those who have passed
my feet won’t pause
these two want to arrive on time

[No se detendrán mis pies]


In the Spanish

No se detendrán mis pies
no me perderé en el camino
profundas son las huellas sobre el cuerpo de la [tierra
muchos son los huaraches que reposan
para indicar el sendero de los que se fueron
no se detendrán mis pies
son dos que quieren llegar a tiempo

[Qui zabezadxi batañee’]


In the Isthmus Zapotec

Qui zabezadxi batañee’
qui zanitedia’ lu neza
guete’ nexhe’ duuba’ lu guidiladi layú
stale guelaguidi biaana lu neza
ti gului’ ca’ pa ladu zé ca ni guzá niru
qui zabezadxi batañee’
ma nuuca’ guiuba guedandaca’



Irma Pineda (Binnizá/Isthmus Zapotec) has published nine books of bilingual (Spanish-Isthmus Zapotec) poetry. Naxiña’ Rului’ladxe’ – Rojo Deseo (Red Desire, by Pluralia) won Mexico’s Caballo Verde 2018 best poetry book prize. The poems published here are from her 2007 collection, Xilase qui rié di’ sicasi rié nisa guiigu’ / La Nostalgia no se marcha como el agua de los ríos (Nostalgia Doesn’t Flow Away Like Riverwater). She works for Mexico’s National Teachers’ University as well as the Mexican Federal Congress. She serves as a vice president of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and lives in Mexico City and Juchitán, Oaxaca.

Wendy Call translated In the Belly of Night and Other Poems by Irma Pineda (Pluralia, 2020); wrote No Word for Welcome (Nebraska, 2011), winner of the Grub Street National Book Prize for Nonfiction; and coedited Telling True Stories (Penguin, 2007). She was a 2018-2019 Fulbright scholar in Colombia, teaches creative writing at Pacific Lutheran University, and makes her home in Seattle. These translations were supported by a 2015 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.