My thoughts on the world around me

Do You Remember, Cuba? (Translation from original “Te Acuerdas, Cuba?”)

My beloved Cuba, do you remember?

I was wearing my favorite dress, the red one. Mom always said the color accentuated my golden skin.

I walked atop El Malecón, from Old Havana to the Vedado district. Holding my father’s hand, I waived to the fisherman.

The ocean crashed violently against the wall, the spray refreshing you. You felt safe.

Do you remember?

We went to Santiago de Cuba. My God, was it hot. Look over there, Dad said.

On the street, a dark woman moved her body. Is she moving her feet and hips because the floor is hot, I asked.

Whenever you’re troubled, Mom said, the only remedy is to dance. I discovered son that day.

There were four seated men accompanying the dark woman.

They were playing el tres, the violin, the maracas, and the instrument that would fill you with joy and sadness with each cry, the trumpet.

Do you remember?

We came upon Santa Clara and strolled through Leoncio Vidal Park. Here’s where we met, my parents said.

I kissed the Boy of the Shoe statue, and I quickly ran with embarrassment. He has been a witness to love, hasn’t he?

Do you remember?

We finally reached Pinar del Río. Walking through the tobacco plantation, I let my hands touch the leaves. Don’t be sad, I said to them. I will soon feel you again in Daddy’s breath.

Don’t forget what you’ve seen, Mom said. We’ll have to leave for a long time, she added, and our memories are fragile.

A storm descended from the Sierra Maestra mountains. Rather than provide water so as to give life to your flowers, the lightening has frightened and the winds have slowly eroded your beauty.

It’s been fifty years since I’ve seen you. And I have always been conscious of what Mom said that day.

I have not forgotten you.

My beloved Cuba, do you remember me?

I ask that you don’t forget me. Hold on a little longer, as I will be back soon.

I will return to the royal palms’ embrace. I will breathe once more.


January 3, 2009 - Posted by | Art, Poetry | , , , ,

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