Papi, where is paradise?
M'hija, paradise is in the aquamarine waters of the Caribbean, a small island of green mountains, cool breezes and warm sunshine.
Papi, what is paradise like?
M'hija, the coquíes sing you to sleep, the flamboyans wave their ruby flowers at you, oranges grow wild and the aguacates and plátanos fall from the trees for your dinner.
The colibri dances around you as it murmurs its hello.
Coconut white clouds roll by as the azure sky welcomes the sun into its midst.
The land is blessed with warmth and love.
But Papi, then why did you leave paradise?
Hurricanes would blast paradise with a fury and leave us to rebuild our homes of wood.
The land was not ours but the patron's.
We felt we needed more than the warm air and rainforest could provide.
Lures of the big city, high wages and better opportunities awaited off our island home.
But I think it was a sense of adventure of "missing out" from the wider world that made so many leave Paradise.
Papi, would you go back to paradise?
M'hija I have tried many times, but it is not the paradise of my youth.
My nostalgia puts a veil over my eyes and clouds my vision of today's paradise, but it waits for you with open arms and a smile.
Papi, will we go to paradise together?
When time stops for us both, we will meet in the gardens of my youth and splash and play in the first rains of May.
©2021. Virginia Robles-Villalba aka Virginia Rosario
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