Although I came prepared to speak to you
I really donít know where I should begin
Iíll start by taking off my glasses
if you think this beard is false it isnít
I havenít cut it for 22 years

for the same reason that I donít cut my nails
to fulfill a sacred vow
going further than necessary
since the pledge was only set for twenty
I havenít cut my beard or my nails
except for my toenails
in honor of my sainted mother
just because of that Iíve had to suffer
indignities scorn and humiliation
although I wasnít bothering anyone
only keeping a sacred promise
made the day my mother died
not to cut my beard or my nails
for a period of twenty years
paying homage to that sacred memory
and to renounce the wearing of common clothing
replacing it with this humble sackcloth
Now I can tell you my secret
the penance finally over and done with
soon youíll be able to see me
in plain clothes again.

en: Sermons and homilies of the Christ of Elqui . English translation by Sandra Reyes ; with a foreword by Miller Williams. Columbia, University of Missouri Press, 1984. 105 p

SISIB - Facultad de FilosofŪa y Humanidades - Universidad de Chile