“Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life. Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance.” – Roy T. Bennet

Posts tagged ‘poverty’

Domino Effect

I didn’t live in the Dominican Republic for long. It wasn’t even three years in the end. But, despite all my efforts to not assimilate to the culture, I left with several quirks because of it.

Every afternoon, someone would either invite us to have coffee at their house or someone would simply put a percolator on the stove. You would think that hot coffee in high heat and humidity would be overkill, but I found that after the initial sweating, the outside humectation would seemingly lessen. Now, I enjoy a pot of (decaf) coffee when the day begins to lull and I’m already preparing for dinner. It may be summer, but I feel as though I am better acclimatized than my husband and can stand the heat of midday enough to run in it.

The beaches of Sosua were always interesting. That side of the island is the more tourist-y side, with bars and high-priced trinket markets lining the beach entryways. The worst thing about them was the appalling amount of lecherous creeps that preyed the shoreline. These were the Speedo-wearing, beer-bellied predators blocked from their own countries. The average age was about fifty, but that didn’t (doesn’t) stop them from picking up sixteen-year-old Haitian and Dominican girls to use and abuse with the promise of a future outside the island. Unfortunately, because I grew so used to seeing this sick trend, I now assume that large, white, fifty-year-old men are all predatory and dangerous. I know this isn’t a fact of all men that look that way, but perhaps I am racist and sexist in small ways because of it. I don’t trust anyone’s grandpa until I really know them.

Lastly, the poverty in the Dominican Republic made me appreciate the abundance of America. Appreciate, and also abhor. We live in such luxury here and complain about the things we do not have. We have so much. I do not go hungry. My family does not go hungry. We have a one-bedroom apartment and I could have another child and it would still be sufficient. We have jobs. We have savings. We have clean water. I cannot complain.

After all is said and done, I do wish to go back someday.

Dalit

I’ll try to tell the tale

Of a small untouchable

A dying girl in India

One too susceptible

To hate and avoidances

And untreated grievances

That left her crippled

Still searching for happiness

But wanting to become

An importance to someone

Crawling on the ground

A piece of her undone

Unraveling and twisting behind

She holds her sari closed

With the other hand grasping

For a root or stone to hold

Crowd begin to gather

Birds flock and wonder

No one cares to help

Only wanting to gaze at her

Her misfortune and poverty

Her disfigured body

Hereditary fate

And the lack of a family

In high standing and respect

Just a birth defect

And an insatiable desire

To become perfect

 

© 2011 singinthebreeze.wordpress.com

Pickle Jar

they’ll tell you life is good here and dare you to say otherwise

as they go and steal a pickle jar to hold their savings in

it’ll stay as dry and empty as it was when it was found

but it sits there to remind them to save a buck someday

is it hard to believe that destiny

brought me to this city

where children cry and cease to be

part of the living

and the women walk in the night time

wishing they would meet somebody

and the men lose hope with the fading light

and drown in their misery

they’ll tell you life is good here and dare you to say otherwise

as they stand in line for soup so that their families may eat

it will last a couple days up to a week if they wanted

so dies a hungry mother and the unborn child inside

is it hard to believe that destiny

brought me to this city

where children cry and cease to be

part of the living

and the women walk in the night time

wishing they would meet somebody

and the men lose hope with the fading light

and drown in their misery

one by one, freedom will take them

two by two, the windows will close

and near their little graveyard a vacant house will stand

boarded up and buried deep in the minds of passing friends

and on a broken shelf above their only chair

there sits an empty pickle jar that nobody could fill

 

 

© 2011 singinthebreeze.wordpress.com

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