Tile, by Enma Leyva

And they came
to our rescue—
they came,
the World:
too late.
My grandmother sat
amongst the ruins,
that small, salvaged
piece of tile
from her house—
the one and only house tile.

Hundreds of tiles
as the Americans came,
only to see
a broken country
not my grandmother’s broken dreams.

This was to be my house,
my home.
Now these walls:
Wilma’s rubble.

The Americans never saw
my grandmother’s tears:
they were too busy
weighing our worth.
They never saw
her broken dreams:
all they saw were hundreds of
tiny tile pieces.

Born in Cuba, Enma Leyva grew up in South Florida. She teaches English in the city of Davie.


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