Poetry

Back Again – Camryn Garrett

Back Again

Florida

I am not the only one uncomfortable here

but I am one of few.

Jose says that there’s more here,

more than enough rainwater to go around.

If you work hard, you live well.

The way things used to be at home.

Clara and Carlos agree,

Mama just offers a rubbery smile.

Papa’s eyebrows furrow

every

night

because

he’s rebuilding.

I wear a smile that mirrors Mama’s at school,

where American children speak English

and smile

and joke.

I tell them about Castro and the beach and being almost wealthy.

They smile.

Is it the same as a joke?

I have not eaten plantains since the trip.

Sometimes tears roll down my cheeks at the thought.

We are so close, and so far, all into one,

but my friends are still a world away.

Mami used to grow plantains,

and I feel like I won’t remember the taste of sunshine.

The surf here is saltier,

the beach has less sun.

But I still spend all of my time mingling with the waves.

If I stare long enough, I can see my island.

The waves have the power to carry us to another shore,

the way they carried us here.

I want to love it here, the way the others do.

I do.

Papi says it’s harder to find things in plain sight.

America is a land paved with opportunity.

I will find it.

I will.

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