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           The Guava Newton 

            by Amarilys Gacio Rassler

                      I'm just a guava newton,  

                   In the box, they call exile,

                   Waiting anxiously for Castro,

                   To leave our beloved isle.

                   Inside, like a guava newton,

                   Cuban culture through my veins,

                   Yet American by relocation,  

                   Much confusion in my brain! 

                   In my head I hum a mambo,

                   But my feet dance rock and roll,

                   And my English gets entangled,

                   In a yarn of Spanish ball. 


                   Papi says "the Cuba Libre,"

                   Soon will be more than a drink,

                   Mami speaks of us returning,

                   Freedom's waiting on the brink! 

                   Oh, this box-in guava newton,

                   Wants to see her parents now! 

                   And at night in dampened pillow,

                   Are buried eyes with heavy brow.

                   While the days are getting longer, 

                   90 miles across the sea,

                   Something seems to eat my filling,

                   Where's the Cuban once in me? 

                   Hurry, hurry, Mami y Papi,

                    Salvage what is left inside,

                   For I fear my guava is seeping,

                   And in shame I want to hide! 

                  Just a little guava newton,

                  Tossed about with so much change,

                  There're so many here beside me,

                  How to handle so much pain! 

         Poem from my book, Cuban-American,

         Dancing On The Hyphen.

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      The Guava Newton poem I dedicate to all

               my Pedro Pan brothers and sisters.

In Cuba ...

My Father’s Voice

by Amarilys Gacio Rassler                   


(Fidel Castro known in Cuba as The Horse)                  


In Cuba I was a bulldog                        Strutting around        king of my mound,

Worked hard for those bones

I counted upon to later be found,

Hid them safely under sacred grounds.

Ay, in Cuba this bulldog strutted around, king of his mound!


In Cuba I was a bulldog,

Until from the mountain                                              

"The Horse" came down                  

To whip and scourge

And rape our towns,

To hammer us docile

Into droopy-eyed hounds.

So this bulldog left with embedded howls,

Though mouth,

Fear chained to muted sounds.

Adios to bones and sacred grounds.


In America I became  

A hard working dog,

A German shepherd.

Took care of my pack

Tried not to look back,

Was paid with few bones

And at times felt alone

Though in heart,

Sang own song.

Reclaiming a hope

Of new life to come.


And then in America,                         

I soon had small hill

Where to rest and be still.

To lift up my head

And be free and be heard!

No more muted sounds

But small king, with little mound,

Though few bones now to count,

Still proud of this my new sacred grounds.


Ay Dios gracias for America ... for America!

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