February 2018 Poem of the Month


Havana Club

When in Havana, you drink Havana Club straight, 

sipping, swirling high in the light, tasting the balance 

of caramel and oak from twelve years captive in cask.

The rum master does not apologize for the numbness

on our tongues or for his four-pocket shirt,

but he pulls our attention to the warmth and the long finish.

He explains all rum is a blend. 

This distillery, born in the 1800’s is,

“historically, the best blender 

of the soil, the sun and the brown sugar of Cuba

together with the jazz drums, salsa dance 

and the unabashed friendliness of the Cubans.”

We drink our large samples and try, but fail, to blow off the excess alcohol, 

and before long our host smiles to tell us

that we have, together, “woken up the Devil.”


“Havana Club,” was first published in 2018 by Wanderlust Journal.