Tegucigalpa, City of Fury

photo: Glen Hartjes

photo: Glen Hartjes

Tegucigalpa, City of Furyespañol

By Allan McDonald

Translation: Machetera


I’ve gone through my memories with a firm step and stopped at history’s corner, under the olive-green traffic light, so that the rush of military tanks might pass.  And so, I’ve remembered my childhood of lost lights, when I played in that garden of dissected flowers, under the incandescent light of God’s eyes, and I’ve begun to see my plastic dolls, that came in the Corn Flakes cereal boxes in that unfashionable time, when playing with little soldiers was the joy of life.  Today, seeing them for real is life’s anguish, the horror of their dreadful devastating eyes, their breasts encased in metal shells, like mythological animals of a Neolithic era already passed over by end times’ paleontologists.

The city of Tegucigalpa is a concentration camp, a city mined by hatred, a large village tangled in the boots that destroy the greening of hope with every step, teaching that it must never grow again.  Still, the flower of resistance sprouts from the asphalt of their twisted steps.

On every sidewalk, every street, every alley, the force of struggle against this metal monster is on stampede, shining in the shirts of the misery of this Honduras; hatred and utopia reside in every weapon, the body of crime in every green shirt, tears of love in every eye in order to rescue the country from the fake orangutans from a phosphorescent forest of inglorious political fireflies.

The traffic light turns red; now it’s time to detain the rotten iron caravans and to stop the dinosaurs from history’s rubbish heap; now it’s time to switch on that dignified red light that will put an end to the fury unleashed by this metallic stable that smashes the hope which according to them exists because they are convinced that the whole country can be summed up in an M-16.

My plastic dolls have fallen in the garden, lost among the piles of leaves and winter’s dry swirling litter.  I run to where my father is, so that he might help me.  They are my only toys, and the old man, who is reading a novela by Honoré de Balzac, whispers in my ear, slowly, like a secret from a state without a president: “Leave them there, because the plastic may melt with the morning sun.”


Allan McDonald and Machetera are members of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, and translator are cited.

One response to “Tegucigalpa, City of Fury

  1. Having left Honduras in August, as things began to slide from bad to worse. I found this post to be one of the most moving I’ve read since.

    Keep up the great work! Hoping that one of these sunrises brings us to a new day down there!
    Dare to struggle, dare to win!
    Ken Kelley

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