Raised Dominican Republic
Motherland of my life, author to my many disasters
This land is the definition of Nationalism.
With examples of survival skills of disgust
But we speak of them without shame.
We don’t care what you think ‘coz you don’t know how we live
You can’t experience being Dominican in a resort.
Let me tell you my truth
Woke up one morning, a rooster my alarm like every other day
No wind, No sound,
No one in sight
A poor neighborhood but a serene land
A house made of wood, I would later on leave to live in my uncle’s garage
Many people think that the poor only suffer
But when you have nothing,.
You learn to give everything
Seven years old, I was brushing my teeth
In the front porch of my house.
Learning my ten commandments in school
A prayer before every class, you must always volunteer.
The shield in our flag, “Dios, Patria y Libertad”
God, Fatherland and Freedom
This is what we learned in school
To honor the three warriors that fought for our liberty
To pray to god for a new day
And to protect our Home.
My fear everyday was the same
Getting whipped by my teacher when my classwork was wrong
You’d think a christian woman would pray her way into teaching you right
But at the end of every class, we were like sardines in a can
Hugging each other tightly to avoid a beating
Until one day that girl slapped the teacher back
And what a blessing the bitch got fired!
Then came the fun nights without electricity.
I would get screamed at by my mother when I came home past midnight
An un-perfect life filled with perfect memories
Like the night we all gathered by a cracked window
After lighting Brillo pads to make spinning starlight with our hands,
Watching the haitian guy get laid by the slutty fat girl from the other side of town
When it rained, everyone would go out and shower
My life’s biggest dream at five years old
My mom would never allow me
I would plead and beg and cry
Three years of waiting and she gave me a shower cap and let me go
Standing on the doorstep to watch the public shower
There I was with everyone else.
Some of us with our clothes on
The others? Well you can guess...
Family are not only the people in your house
They are the ones in your neighborhood
That bring food to your house after cooking
That come over during the evening for some coffee as the sun sets
The ones that give you your shots when your sick because the clinic is too expensive.
That come to all your funerals and cry, even if they don’t know shit about who just died.
They teach you how to cook Plantains, care for a baby, and prepare Té de Orégano.
That was my life, and I was seven.
A typical day starts out quiet, but music livens up the night
Men playing Dominoes outside the grocery stores with bottles of beer on the table
Kids sneaking up behind to taste the liquor
Mothers gathered together to gossip in the middle of the night
Aunts with their nieces and nephews watching the spanish soap operas
Local channels were better than cable when you watched Dragon Ball Z
If you weren’t familiar, even your grandpa would frown at you.
A piece of cardboard becomes your fan during every blackout
A candle your light for half the night
And if it was a good day and the lights came back on,
everyone would scream “Llego la luz!”
The sun is the heat for the water we use to shower.
Full of water worms.
Pictures of family members from aeons ago
A sabila tree hanging from the ceiling to keep out the bad spirits
Your house furniture, older than your grandmother
And when random cats passed by your house you’d call them “Misu Misu”
The best storage in the house is underneath the mattress.
Visiting the countryside you’ll find the other half of your family
You won’t feel bad about not being so educated
You’ll climb mango trees for an afternoon snack,
Ride horses ‘Till you reached the riverbank ,
Lay down on the grass and tell stories until the stars come out
And even make love in a sigh so serene, peaceful and quiet.
There are two sides to a coin
You wouldn’t know how much we struggle
A lot of people don’t even know who we are
Some don’t even care that Christopher Columbus is buried here
That this was one of the first lands he set foot on
Yet here we are neglected
Suffering like we did from day one
Learning to survive with so little
Watching our youth being trafficked to prostitution
Being sold online by men who crave and dream of money,
Selling dreams of wealth to young girls who only wish to survive the poverty
Girls who end up being sex slaves in another country.
Even if we go unrecognized, our pride will always stay alive
Every Dominican that comes to America
Leaves their heart back home.
The children that they bear grow to love the native land
That’s who we are.
We are people who don’t have anything
But swear we have everything
We have everything money can’t buy
We are Latin by Tradition not by definition
In : 2012
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