by Keith Ellis
For Harry and Rose Williams
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.