The village is just off the road from Almazán to Medinaceli in the province of Soria, northern Spain.
No, no we are not sad. Why should we be?
Not sad but we think back to happier times
When there were thirty families here.
Our noisy brood have all left now.
Gone to Madrid and Barcelona to work,
Even to France and to England,
So far away.
They have their own battles to fight,
Rushing with the children to school in the morning
And searching for a place to park at night
When they come home from work.
And here we can fit in a hundred cars or more
For the square is always empty now
And the space unnecessary.
The village has been good to us.
All the sheep we have raised here
Over the years,
In those fields over there.
All the cows that we have milked
Here in this little shed.
The roof of the church lost two tiles
In the storms last autumn.
I’m too old to clamber up to put them back.
When one tile goes,
The wind searches for the gap like the tongue
Goes relentlessly to the hole in a tooth.
Then it lifts another and another
And then two more,
And soon the roof is bare.
I put a bucket there
In the aisle, you know,
To catch the worst of the leak.
My wife took a mop
To the pool of water on the floor.
We have the key, you see.
The last priest handed it to me,
And I do my best to see
The place is well looked after.
We have no bus.
We have no train.
And the few cars that come
Are never parked with care.
Here we have no painted lines.
The cars are just left here and there.
We have space for them everywhere.
And since you ask me, I can say
That for many a year and many a day,
We have done our best.
We have kept going,
And here we’ll stay.