The Moon and the Boy by Diógenes Cuero Caicedo


Splendid moon,
Once again, I’ve caught you
peering at me through the leaves,
as I trod the path,
hastily trampling
my own shadow—
to bask in your glow.
Let’s play… Play, cucheflorón,
hide-and-seek and tag.
Before childhood is extinguished,
from so much toiling in the fields
and we prematurely age.

Beloved moon…
let’s fill the night with tenderness,
Let’s make tonight a total indulgence.
Before childhood is extinguished.

Translator’s Note: I decided to translate Diógenes Cuero Caicedo’s poem “The Moon and the Boy” as it beautifully captures the innocence and joy of childhood, as well as the fleeting nature of youth. Cuero’s poetry is deeply rooted in the Afro-Ecuadorian experience, celebrating black identity and culture. The mention of “cuche…. florón” reflects the games played by children in his coastal town of Esmeraldas, Ecuador, adding cultural richness to the poem and highlighting Cuero’s connection to his community and its traditions.

Original Spanish Version


Esplendida luna,
otra vez te sorprendi,
mirandome entre los arboles,
mientras el camino trotaba,
pisoteando muy de prisa,
mi propia sombra;
para tu luz disfrutar.
Jugar… jugar,cuche…. floron
el escondido y la pega.
Antes que la niñez se extinga,
por tanto el campo labrar
y prematuramente señorear.

querida luna…
llenemos de ternura la noche,
hagamos de este momento un derroche.
Antes que la niñez se extinga.

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