bitter

August 22, 2009

Las Salinas, Bani Dominican RepublicPhoto: www.lagacetafea.blogger.combracero2

these tracks are old
they lead nowhere.
this is the land of salt mines
and sand dunes.

heat burning skin.
salt stinging wounds.
over one million
Haitians
migrate
to this
third world.

third world country
with first world mentality
put these men to labor
extracting salt
from pool bottoms.

salt in wagons
pulled and pushed
on tired tracks
eroding
corroding

Bani
Las Salinas
Dominican Republic
known as the land
of poets and liberators.

this is one sad poem
and liberation,
is only reserved
for non-Haitians
“para todo aquel
que no sea negro.”

travel 400 kilometers east
along the southern coast

on different tracks
railroad tracks
pulling thousands
of sugar cane sticks

loaded by braceros
sugar cane cutters
back breaking
soul aching.

nine to twelve hours,
machetes swinging.
young sons alongside
exhausted
with no time to play,
must say
“there is nothing
sweet
about this sugar cane
stick dad.”

La Romana
Dominican Republic
the name
comes from a balance
used to weigh
merchandise for export.

but there is no balance
in inequality.

and what this third world exports is

not salty
not sweet
just bitter.

~sarahi yajaira, 2009

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