Between Winter and Spring / Laritza Diversent

Between winter and spring, right when winter is about to finish and spring is about to begin, between the sprouting of branches and the rebirth of flowers, Cuba, the little island in the Caribbean Sea, hardens her chest and tries to conceal the pain of her wounds. She closes her eyes, she wants to cry, but she cannot. Her flowing stream of tears has dried. Everything becomes one: the suffering caused by death, and the hate and melancholy which divides her insides. She is chained. Once again, opportunism has deceived her and now she is imprisoned by others who have longed for power. They nail sad memories onto her, as well as the indolence of those who let her brothers die, those who couldn’t earn it themselves, of hunger.

She cannot wipe out the images of the agony which plagued her most humble sons. Despite how firm the concrete ground was, a humble bricklayer cemented the struggle for freedom of spirit, thought, and words with his life. And then there are other sons, the 75 imprisoned by intolerance and fear, those who served jail sentences because of their thoughts. She deeply misses those of her children who are now in foreign lands, condemned to exile. She looks at the cloak which covers her.

She still harbors the stains of blood left behind by her three ebony sprouts. It is so difficult to carry such a deep wound and also feel the hate of those who ordered to pull the triggers of their weapons and of pain and fire on those who left her side in order to chase a dream, and instead found death.

With a melancholy sigh, she holds the long list of those who have disappeared. She is not calm. Her children are divided by a 90-mile ocean, some hating each other, others punished by nostalgia.

She dreams of the day she will free herself. On that day, she will call on all her children to return to her, and with an immense embrace full of that power only the mother country can wield, she will make all her children forget their differences.

That is how she spends the seasons in a year. But when that winter starts to fade and Spring arrives, Cuba, that little island in the Caribbean Sea, begins to stir her soul.

Translated by Raul G.

March 16 2011