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.