The old women with their hennaed hair
remembered Havana. They had followed
husbands or fathers here, in the days
when cigar-making was the trade
in demand, the skill of the hand roll.
Before Castro, before even
Batista, the men had come and they
watched the besbol games on the warm
Florida evenings and smoked
what they had created that day.
The fragrant salty bread from the corner
panaderia would remind them of home,
the cousins and brothers, and who
knew what had become of them when
revolution and time had broken their world.
And the old women were now the abuelas
and tias of a generation that did not
know Havana. They did not speak
Espanol or chose not to and danced
to the rock-and-roll with their girlfriends.
That is the way things go, their children
tell them. We are Americans now.
On the park benches, the old women
with their flaming hair gossip of this
and much more and remember Havana.
Stephen Brooke ©2013