Made traitors by the revolution
that brought Marxism and mayhem,
too haggard and hungry to care
which flag their children flew,
Cuban families became fleeing masses.
Desperate, they forced their way
into gated embassy compounds
looking for sustenance, asylum.
It was all over the evening news:
Mass hysteria ensued.
Then an embarrassed turn in the tide.
The noose loosened— Castro blinked.
Anyone who wants to leave can go!
Clinging to the watery hope
of escape by boat at Mariel,
desperate thousands filled the village
then fought their way onto the wooden wings
of angels–boat captains who would take them
across the waves to America.
Within months, the emigration
swelled to a deluge, too much
for suspicious politicians.
At customs, the door closed,
locked for a child’s lifetime
of Florida familias separated
at birthdays and funerals.
Ninety miles of blue ocean
grew into decades of stormy silence
between two stubborn neighbors.
In Miami, Little Havana thrived!
Bolstered by the Soviets
for decades as a Cold War ally,
in bed with Venezuela,
El Jefe owned beloved Cuba,
his expensive cigars a smokescreen
to keep commercial progress at bay,
his Communist ideas aging year after year.
The waves of time are wide and wild.
Who knows when currents will shift?
One day, Fidel takes to the airwaves,
announces he has seen his day. Ailing,
he anoints Raul; the brother rises beside him
to lift the veil and reveal the future
that has left their beautiful island behind.
Slowly, a flurry of secret words flies
back and forth across the water,
and, today, this: the stars and stripes flutter
above a resurrected consulate.
The long-awaited machinery of trade
is set in place as the global gaze turns again
to the little port at Mariel, now dredged and ready,
remembering its days of harried goodbyes,
remade as Cuba’s waiting gateway to the world.
And from Havana comes the word:
Poet with a Press Pass features original poems written by Anne McCrady in response to news and world events. The series is produced by InSpiritry. More about Anne and InSpiritry is at InSpiritry.com.