Fortified Forever by Fidel

by Keith Ellis

For Harry and Rose Williams

fidel 223.jpg

Cuba, with the passing of Fidel,

the peerless protector by thought

and deed, might now be seen as widowed.

But you who in dejected mood

risk seeing widowed as synonym of weakened,

sharpen your thinking!

Turn your eyes upon Mariana Grajales,

whose numerous progeny, still reproducing,

she gave unstintingly to the causes of

of independence, sovereignty and revolution.

Upon Celia Sánchez,

as dauntless as any guerrilla

and meticulous when architect or archivist.

Upon Melba Hernández, heroic combatant

From Moncada and the Third Eastern Front

To heroine of the whole Cuban Revolution.

Upon Haydée Santa María

from whose memory of steel

the darkest acts could not drive

the words “morir por la patria es vivir.”

Upon Vilma Espín who dared to fly

from roof to roof defying Batista’s murderers.
Upon Sara González, who never tiring

buoyed the revolution with vigorous song.

Upon Marta Rojas whose brave journalist’s pen saw

early that history would more than absolve them all.

Turn your eyes upon these and many, many more,

steadfast, unbending, at Cuba’s and humanity’s call,

forever fortified by Fidel.

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