In a 1958 blue Chrysler going to Playa:
Cuba is cold from the north, sad, morose
people crest fallen, fresh fruit and vegatables
very difficult to find, most swept away
by the last hurricane, enthusiasm tread upon
initiative encumbered, circular rules
of commerce stall production, a hole in the bucket.
This old taxi is warm from the heat of its motor
the chofer, young, crew cut, the daily grinding
of gears to make survival endure in a 50 year
old car to keep running, held together with
bailing wire, non-precision bolts and parts
from other generic dead, ingenuity trivialized
the interior long ago worn to threads
stripped to bare essentials, its metal skeleton
revealed, painted over more than once
the roof light gutted, snips dangle, beaten
by the Revolution, holding out, indomitable
still for paradise, having to awake continually
from the same dream, living a slow death.
c) Jan G. Otterstrom F.
February 7, 2009
La Habana, Cuba