Author: Margarita Engle
Location: Clovis, CA
Margarita Engle is the Cuban-American author of several books about the island, most recently The Poet Slave of Cuba, a Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano
(Henry Holt & Co.). Short works appear in a wide variety of anthologies and international journals, including Atlanta Review, Bilinigual Review, California Quarterly, Caribbean Writer, Hawai'i Pacific Review, Nimrod,
and Poetry Salzburg.
Awards include a Cintas Fellowship, a San Diego Book Award, and a 2005 Willow Review Poetry Award. She was also a 2006 semi-finalist for the Nimrod Hardman/Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize. Margarita lives with her family in California.
Segregated U.S. troops
were buried in mass graves
in the tropical soil of Cuba
during the Spanish-American War.
Buried quickly, side by side
in the hot, humid climate,
skeletons of black and white, infantry and cavalry,
Apache and Texas Ranger, Jew and Christian...
all were united by fever, the bones
of strangers still touching now, beneath the surface
of humus and soil, over one hundred years later
the roots of trees growing in moist soil
the only winner of every battle, every war.