El yuma moderno // The modern tourist by ANA RODRIGUEZ MACHADO
Ana Rodriguez Machado is a Toronto-based poet.
El yuma moderno // The modern tourist
Where did you stay?
—A house in beautiful:
Oh, and the beach, I couldn’t wait to go back!
Did they make you feel welcome?
—Cafecito con leche
Pan from la shopping
Would go again
Did they show you the city?
—Yes, of course,
the knowledge of locals
And the bedrooms? Living area?
and the interior design,
I never thought the third world
lived like this
Makes me wonder why they ever leave!
(My love, what would you say if you heard this?
—Well everyone’s entitled
to their opinion
What is truth if
not someone’s interpretation)
And did the owners stay with you?
—They did, though we did not dare
look in their room
Caught my daughter sneaking in once
She’s only two
She was curious
What did you see?
—A modest room, no windows, Murphy bed
small electric stove, a bag of bread,
papers in stacks, glass of water precarious on top
But they seem happy
I’ve always admired
the resourcefulness of Cuban people
Never saw them without a smile on their face
We left some money
and a drawer full of toiletries
we only used for a week
They were so grateful
You should have seen their faces
How happy you can make someone with so little