My Cuba

My grandparents left Cuba in the early sixties;
they never imagined the revolution would last.

After the Cuban missile crisis, they realized
they were cast out of Eden. Decades passed.

At last I went for a visit and found a time warp.
People living in the past, without technology

or the usual stream of new possessions.
Instead, the patched and mended predominated,

nostalgic and dilapidated in the brilliant sun.
Alone, at a café in Havana, surrounded by tourists,

I fought back tears as I listened to a song
my grandparents sang, and it seemed

as if someone I knew might walk in the door.
But no one came. An impossible thought,

like the idea of the life I might have had,
had my grandparents not left. Yet I have grown

at peace with the Cuba they gave me.
I carry their homeland lost and found in my heart.


Suggested by “Sweet and Savory Memories Caramelized in Exile,” by Alex Witchel, of Ana Sofía Peláez, author of The Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors, and History. The New York Times, 10/31/14, p.C30.)


Photography © Allison Goldin

Photography © Allison Goldin


Poet, fiction writer, journalist, and critic Anne Whitehouse’s books include poetry collections The Surveyor’s Hand (Compton Press), Blessings and Curses (Poetic Matrix Press), One Sunday Morning (Finishing Line Press), The Refrain (Dos Madres Press), Bear in Mind (Finishing Line Press), and Fall Love (novel). Recent poetry and fiction publications include The View from Here, Art from Art (anthology), Istanbul Poetry Review, Pain and Memory and Being Human: Call of the Wild (anthologies), riverbabble, Yale Journal of Humanities in Medicine, and others. She lives in New York City.

Allison Goldin is an artist living in California. Her work is a collection of spontaneous drawings from the imagination. The most common link throughout her art are the semi-recognizable creatures scattered amongst and bringing together the surrounding doodles.