A Short Story
I grew inside a walnut shell, and there at the bottom of that little shell I had a bit of cotton for my bed, for shelter I had the petal of a purple flower, a leaf of coltsfoot made a canopy that covered me from the chill of some mornings and the sun of some middays, and when the moon was turning the leaf opened to the sky to watch it pass, and in this calm I grew…
Then the bit of cotton no longer suited me well and it began to rain and the coltsfoot bent under the weight of the water and the cotton, which was by all means already small, got wet.
Then I decided to walk in search of other refuge, and I was afraid of what I did not know, but also curious about what might come, now that I did not want to be alone. I had known the light by my eyes and the cold and the sun’s heat by my skin, but I had not heard any other voice, just my own, which greeted the sun each morning and spoke my solitude to the moon, I even started calling myself “Soledad,” since nobody had ever named me.
When I had to walk with knot of uncertainty in my back and my hair in a tangle I found myself with you, and then you named me Esperanza and I called you Victoria. We played until we were hungry and my heart had tired of your beauty, and you touched my skin as if to give me color. You gave me water and food, you covered me and I slept more than any other night.
Carla Verdugo Salinas.
San Miguel Prison.
Santiago, Chile 2012.