Wednesday, January 17, 2007


The Bearded Piper

The most severe problems may be the infections in which the intestines broke open. ''What is leaking out is poop,'' Rodriguez said. ``In all the books, that's very dangerous. For a person over 65, that's a 90 percent mortality rate. That's a killer.''--Miguel J. Rodriguez, Gastroenterologist, Homestead Hospital. From "Fidel Castro is facing massive problems not only with his intestines..." by John Dorschner, The Miami Herald, Tuesday, January 16, 2007.

I could write something very crass. But I won't. Instead, let me share a poem I wrote thirty-five years ago with you--twelve years after I'd arrived in El Exilio. Imagine...


Once, not very far off, there was a man with a beard,
A bearded man who came down from the hills
With his troupe of followers.
He came into the city and proclaimed peace and liberty for all.
During a speech of his a white dove flew onto his shoulder:
Most of us felt that freedom was not far off.
He produced a fever that spread like flies to all parts of the land.
I was but a small child, and yet it affected me, too:
In my innocence I thought him a Savior.

My mommy and daddy were the bad guys in those days.
Then they felt that the bearded man with the dove forebode nothing but evil.
Some others felt like them also, but most of us followed him as if he were the Pied Piper of Hamelin fame.
What were we, though, the children or the rats?
My mommy and daddy and I left; those “some others” left, too.

But the children-rats, what became of them?
They were spied upon by their fellow children-rats.
They had their homes taken away from them.
They were thrown into deep dark dungeons.
They were shot, one after the other:
Rat-tat-tat, just like that.

And why?

Because the bearded man with the dove had deceived them.
He was really a terrible man, just like my mommy and daddy had said he was:
The bearded piper had piped the children-rats straight into the sea.

Georgina Marrero
The Scribbler (1972)

No puedo aguantarme: let it all hang out, Fidel!

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