Archives for July 2015

Art of the Week (At Repose with Mitsy) and Poem of the Week (Cuba)

Art of the Week

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At Repose with Mitsy E. Marie Francis Vero Beach Branch, FL Acrylic

At Repose with Mitsy
E. Marie Francis
Vero Beach Branch, FL
Acrylic

Poem of the Week

Cuba

Amalia, but we called her Molly
The first and only Cuban I have known
She was orphaned when
Her parents died in a train wreck
She and her brother were raised by the nuns and brothers
The children were not permitted to see each other for a year
Thinking that would allow their unspeakable loss to heal
Like an unpicked scab
Her family name, unknown to me, had stature but no money, she said
Molly married a US navy man and left the island by twenty
Castro’s revolution was on its way
In the United States the soap operas taught her English
An economics course taught her capitalism
And
Amalia transformed herself into Molly
We met when teachers at a Catholic School
She taught Spanish; I taught English
I was a twenty-seven year old ex-nun fresh from the convent
Molly was a thirty-seven year old with a master’s degree in psychology
She became my counselor ex-officio
Molly transformed me.
She was outgoing and fun
She gave me permission to shake off the habits of my old life
And embrace my new life with gusto
Just as she had done for herself.
We partied with faculty and attended weddings together
We went for dinner and drinks often
One night she let down her guard
Her brother was waiting for his son’s release
He’d been imprisoned for handing out anti-Castro pamphlets on a street corner
They’d cross the Straits when the boat of opportunity sailed
As soon as her words dropped from her lips
Panic set in
Now, she had to trust me with her secret
I never spoke a word; not even to ask the outcome
Molly divorced and I married; our friendship suffered
I moved hundreds of miles away, we lost touch
But thirty years later, I wanted to mend the rift
The internet quickly gave up Amalia’s address
A letter came back
My opportunity had sailed a year too late
In 2003 Molly had died.

Descansa en paz, Amalia. Descansa en paz.

by Susan Bassler Pickford
Member at large

Poem of the Week–The Flag

To all: a happy and safe Independence Day!

The Flag

When night falls
And lures the moth
Shine a light
On our sacred cloth

The flag sewn
By Betsy Ross
And flown ever since
For our living and lost

A symbol of heroism
Our country of might
So leave our land
If you want to fight

In the wind
She flutters
In the ice she’s frigid
At the Unknowns’ Tomb
Her ceremonies rigid

When day breaks
Look with pride
At the red, white and blue
With stars at her side

Love her –
Keep her flying
Good patriots
Are always complying

The greatest symbol
On Mast and Spar
She’s draped our heroes
Near and far

Barbara Whitmarsh
Bayou City Branch, TX