MIAMI (CBSMiami) — You could say it’s the poem he’s been writing his entire life.READ MORE: Federal Government's N95 Masks Distribution Starts Monday
A “hyphenated” life as Richard Blanco calls it, the life of a Cuban-American.
“The sea doesn’t matter,” Blanco read from his original poem at the American Flag raising ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Havana Friday. “What matters is this. We all belong to the sea between us.”
The poem is called “Matters of the Sea” or “Cosas del Mar”.
On Sunday, Blanco was back at the home where he grew up in Miami to talk about his historic trip.
“It was just amazing,” he said. “It still feels like a dream.”
Blanco is the son of Cuban exiles and a Florida International University graduate.
He delivered a poem at President Obama’s second inauguration, becoming the first Latino, openly gay person and immigrant to hold the title of inaugural poet.READ MORE: Mark Rosenberg Acknowledges He Resigned As FIU President Because ‘I Caused Discomfort For A Valued Employee’
But he says the invitation to speak at the embassy held slightly more personal significance.
“We’re ending this kind of emotional embargo. It doesn’t mean we’ve all kissed and made up,” he explained. “Just agreeing to end the silence and start the conversation.”
For Blanco, the most special moment in Havana came when he was swept up in a crowd of people carrying both Cuban and American flags.
He treasures the photo that captured that excitement.
“This is what it’s all about,” he said choking back his emotions. “It’s about people loving each other.”
While he understands the change is controversial, Blanco says it’s time the sea between the two countries be a source of unity, instead of separation.
“Gaze into the lucid blues of our shared horizons,” he said in his poem. “To listen together. To heal together.”MORE NEWS: Mural Honoring Gloria & Emilio Estefan Unveiled In Little Havana
“That’s the change I want to see in the world,” he said “That moment to me is just as symbolic as raising the flag.”