My grandfather used to smoke cigars and

Drink dark rum at twilight, seated on the

Cool veranda, his eyes lost on the slithering

Hips of the dancing Caribbean sea.

Sometimes he would play the guitar,

Without singing, his fingers, slender

And long, plucking the strings with unexpected

Tenderness, specially coming from him,

A silent man of granite and steel.

He would not share memories nor

Colourful anecdotes escaped his lips.

He just sat, quietly,

He, the night, the wind and the sea.

And we knew better than to

Break his peace with our games or screams.

It was years later that the unsent letters

Came out, hidden in a forgotten chest.

He had been long gone by then.

We were selling the old house, emptying

Its century of family memorabilia,

When we learned about the forbidden girl called Amelia.

Amelia of the oceanic eyes. Amelia

Of the crystal voice. Amelia, the fiancée

Of the once best friend, who came

One summer and left, taking

Grandfather’s heart away with her.

After that everything had her mark.

He drank chocolate because she disliked tea;

The front door was green because

It would bring luck, or so she believed.

And my mother shared her name.

And for all the years to come he

Would sit in front of the Caribbean,

To bring back to mind her memory:


Amelia of the oceanic eyes,

The forbidden girl who came one summer and left,

Taking away forever his heart.


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