Wednesday Poem

The Return

He doesn’t know it yet, but when my father
and I return there, it will be forever.
His antihypertensives thrown away,
his briefcase in the attic left to waste,
the football game turned off— he’s snoring now,
he doesn’t even dream it, but I know
I’ll carry him the way he carried me
when I was small: In 2023
my father’s shrunken, eighty-five years old,
weighs ninety pounds, a little dazed but thrilled
that Castro’s long been dead, his son impeached!
He doesn’t know it, dozing on the couch
across the family room from me, but this
is what I’ve dreamed of giving him, just this.
And as I carry him upon my shoulders,
triumphant strides across a beach so golden
I want to cry, that’s when he sees for sure,
he sees he’s needed me for all these years.
He doesn’t understand it yet, but when
I give him Cuba, he will love me then.

by Rafael Campo
El Coro
University of Massachusetts Press, 1997