by Marguerite Bouvard

Ana, I have learned to see
the mountain rising behind
you bearing the scars

of your ruined city, Havana, the sun-struck
panes of your grandmother’s window,
staining her hair with their reds

and purples. It smokes with the fever
of burning flesh from mid-night
roundups in the prisons of Moncado.

During a time without mercy
or compassion, Ana, your hands
have cradled children and dreams;

Your country’s history rages inside you
and the flight of birds.
You and I have learned how power

sprouts like kudzu, drowning
the tender fields. Speaking of this
across the table where the hours

pause over tea, our words
become grass springing back
defiant flowers.


Marguerite Guzman Bouvard is the author of eight books of poetry. Her work has been published in many different literary magazines and anthologies. She is also the author of 12 non-fiction books on human rights. She’s a Resident Scholar at Brandeis University,.

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