In the Woods of Pennsylvania

When a giant tree commits suicide,
Tired of already being dry and not producing
Birds, without waiting for man to cut it down,
Not waiting for the wind,
With no leaves, it launches its last tune

Symphonic explosion where once were nests
All its wooden holes creak,
Two drops of sap still drop
When its stem bursts the air,
Its tons roll down the fields,
The wolves cry and the deer tremble,
All squirrels go to meet it,
Foreseeing that is some beauty what dies.

By Gloria Fuertes
Translated from the Spanish by Sofia Sharkey


Dianny Sofia Sharkey was born in Cali, Colombia in 1990 in a working class family. She was raised moving back and forth between Bogota and Bucaramanga. At age 19 she moved to the United States. She graduated with honors from the University of Missouri Kansas City in May 2015.

Born in Madrid in a working class family, Gloria Fuertes (1917–1998) considered herself a self-taught poet. She participated in the mid-century poetic generations (“Generación de los 50”, Postism) and taught for a short period in the United States in the early 1960s. Later she became a popular writer of children literature in Spain.