Hasta siempre

“It comes from the heart.
I am not philosophising,”
the old Cuban woman says:
“We will fight & defend the revolution,”
But she’s not talking about Fidel & Che,
icons of persistence & spartan life,
nor the well-fed exiles at Miami,
who prance & shout at the imagined bombing –
only the little O almost nothing that she has:
the rationed bread, black coffee,
Havana cigar to smoke the afternoon away,
the plain old clothes, the doctor’s visit
the short supply of food
& the long speeches…
She doesn’t mind them all –
her eyes scribble
some glint of that elemental dignity
& that’s good enough for her.
Why is it so difficult to understand?
It comes from the heart;
she is not philosophising.

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