The Day Papi left Hispaniola

In matching sun dresses
covered in big pink Bayahibe roses
they walked hand in hand.

The little girl, she said, ‘Mami,
why does the cao fly away
when I run up to kiss him?”

Her mother sighed,
“he does not understand
— he is a bird.”

The little girl nodded, “yes, Mami
but I understand.”

There were no tears,
only the flutter of black feathers
into the blue sky.