Reflections in the Dominican Republic

DR Poem

posted Oct 8, 2015, 8:57 AM by Liz Miller   [ updated Oct 8, 2015, 8:58 AM ]

Journal #1  Oct. 15, 2011

Looking at my belongings lined up in bus tubs.

Standing barefoot in a transparent case.

Ears pop and the guy next to me hums when he chews.

I am a mouse in a maze then stopping, and waiting…still waiting.



Journal #2  Oct. 22, 2011

Reunited and remembering the heat with sticky hugs.

Stories unfold with new friends like opening a present.

Met a lady named Oro, but I call her Azucar.

Unpacked, too much toothpaste, but no lotion.



Journal #3  Oct. 29, 2011

Awakened by a rooster and a breeze from the lagoon.

Forgot how beautiful I was, until the moto men reminded me.

Bought two eggs, a plantain, a roll of toilet paper from the colmado.

The ceiling fan clicks above me like a metronome.



Journal #4 Nov. 5, 2011

Washed some clothes in a tub and hung them on the line to dry.

Ate my rice and beans on the cement steps.

My street dog waits patiently for his share.

On a lower setting, the ceiling fan says wooono.



Journal #5  Nov. 12, 2011

Went to a batay; happy word for a horrible place to live. 

Max knawed on my chin.  He’s cutting a new tooth

Set up a Christmas tree, little hands stay in line and gently tap the ornaments

Saw a pink sunset at the beach then carried the sand back between my toes.



Journal #6  Nov. 19, 2011

Rode in the van to Libertad to see the Montessori school.

Sitting in a circle, teachers talking sweetly, wide-eyed children learning.

Outside washing hands, snack from a bowl, sitting on a half buried tire.

Batata, berenjena & guava for dinner in the stony backyard.



Journal #7 Nov. 26, 2011

Picking up garbage wherever I go; bottle caps, ceramic tile, glass.

Nobody sells can openers; I’ll keep using a knife.

Stopped to kiss Nina then sat and read to her on her porch.

My ten minute walk home took me an hour



Journal # 8 Dec. 3, 2011

A salamander clings to my wall and freezes when I move.

Rufino sells me an avocado and gives me a kiss.

Each time he tries for my lips, I twist my neck and he gets my cheek. 

When it’s dark, mosquitoes like my ankles.



Journal #9 Dec. 10, 2011

I wave my hand for a cheap ride on the guagua.

One more rider makes a baker’s dozen, cooking in the van.

Sitting between machete man and a grandma with a bag of oranges.

Stopped at Playa Grande and found a forgotten blue boat.



Journal # 10 Dec. 17, 2011

The car ride was an intense video game.

Winding roads lined with palm trees and prehistoric leafy plants. 

Salty water flicking in my face while I held on tight for a curvy boat ride.

Floating in the ocean, then keeping the sand off my hoagie.



Journal #11 Jan. 7, 2012

Swimming under dark clouds, watching rain making dots in the ocean.

Jazz on the beach sounds like a conversation between drums and waves.

The VIPs don’t get wet when it rains

The base stays in my head, dodging puddles, walking home



Journal #12 Jan. 14, 2012

Got two free rides on motos today, glad I had my helmet.

Never enough plates when friends stop and offer them dinner.

Saucepan lids make good plates or almost bowls, even better.

The lights just went out, it’s 3AM, doesn’t really matter.



Journal #13 Jan. 21, 2012

Got a marriage proposal from a toothless 80 year old man this morning.

Dipped a paintbrush into my heart and painted love on childrens’ faces.

Kind of addicted to the garlic galleticas and café in the afternoon.

Walking home, sun feels hot on my head. 



Journal #14 Jan. 28, 2012

Bought a corn cob grilled on the curb for 10 pesos.

No umbrella means a rainwater shower with my neighbors.

Jonny hands me soap, washing my hair and feet, flicking my hair like a dog.

Next day, I fill  my big bottle with fresh rainwater, sweet and free



Journal #15 Feb. 4, 2012

On La Loma where Felicia lives, caves run under the brick colored dirt.

Half her floor is cement and the rest is dirt.

Her son takes me to see his roosters while her daughter washes dishes.

Two boys wearing shorts and bare feet sharing a bottle of orange fanta.



Journal #16 Feb. 11, 2012

Every kid always wants to be first in line and to have the sharpest pencil.

They like to pssst for attention and drink in praise by the gallons.

Painting plastic lid mandalas and the older boys bling them like necklaces.

Five of my morning fourth graders can’t write their last names


Journal  #17 Feb. 18, 2012

A montessori student was told to sit still and listen to his teacher.

If not, his little white shirt would be given to another student.  He sat still.

Walked home with a pebble dancing up my chancleta from my heel to my toes.

Read my book by flashlight until I fell asleep.



Journal # 18 Feb. 25, 2012

I can hear that little girl on the moto laughing all the way down the street.

Bought some yucca young boys were selling out of a wheel barrel.

Bautista’s wife Maria says I have gripe; it’s really just a runny nose. 

The crunching pebbles under my feet let my neighbors’ know I’m home



Journal # 19 Mar. 3, 2012

The ice-cream truck is a man walking and whistling with a cooler on his shoulders.

New bright lime colored paint on my neighbor’s new upstairs makes me smile.

The puddles on my street grew larger today.

Rain on metal roofs sounds like clapping



Journal #20 Mar. 10, 2012

Turquoise water puddles against the curb

Brown dog chomping on his butt again.

Huge spider crawled up my arm when I reached for a bag under the sink

People say; God willing and thanks to God. God is big here



Journal #21 Mar. 17, 2012

Littlest boy with the biggest boots

Children buying salami and cheese empanadas before school.

Can buy whatever heals at the farmacia, no prescription needed.

Buy eggs individually, they put it in a little fundas, bring them home, fry them up.



Journal #22 Mar. 24, 2012

Bought salt water soaked buenfruta from a blue-eyed man.

Danced until 3AM then slept until 11AM.

Boulders on the beach picnic spot for olives, nuts and cheese.

My five peso café at 4 pm will be a 10 peso café tomorrow



Journal #23 Mar. 31, 2012

Little boys find round things that roll to make their racers then paint them white.

I have a pet salamander that lives in the coconut shell on my shelf.

Sitting on the tile floor, eating an orange, laughing, talking

Bautista said the mamajuana is almost ready; healing herbs with a wine buzz



Journal #24 Apr. 7, 2012

My abuelita neighbors sweep the leaves from our stony yard.

Women glare with daggers, I smile, their face softens and they call you ‘mi amor.’

Sunshine rainshowers come and go, but my clothes stay on the line to dry.

Chinola-passion fruit  with Avena-ground oatmeal=breakfast of champions.



Journal #1  Oct. 15, 2011

Looking at my belongings lined up in bus tubs.

Standing barefoot in a transparent case.

Ears pop and the guy next to me hums when he chews.

I am a mouse in a maze then stopping, and waiting…still waiting.



Journal #2  Oct. 22, 2011

Reunited and remembering the heat with sticky hugs.

Stories unfold with new friends like opening a present.

Met a lady named Oro, but I call her Azucar.

Unpacked, too much toothpaste, but no lotion.



Journal #3  Oct. 29, 2011

Awakened by a rooster and a breeze from the lagoon.

Forgot how beautiful I was, until the moto men reminded me.

Bought two eggs, a plantain, a roll of toilet paper from the colmado.

The ceiling fan clicks above me like a metronome.



Journal #4 Nov. 5, 2011

Washed some clothes in a tub and hung them on the line to dry.

Ate my rice and beans on the cement steps.

My street dog waits patiently for his share.

On a lower setting, the ceiling fan says wooono.



Journal #5  Nov. 12, 2011

Went to a batay; happy word for a horrible place to live. 

Max knawed on my chin.  He’s cutting a new tooth

Set up a Christmas tree, little hands stay in line and gently tap the ornaments

Saw a pink sunset at the beach then carried the sand back between my toes.



Journal #6  Nov. 19, 2011

Rode in the van to Libertad to see the Montessori school.

Sitting in a circle, teachers talking sweetly, wide-eyed children learning.

Outside washing hands, snack from a bowl, sitting on a half buried tire.

Batata, berenjena & guava for dinner in the stony backyard.



Journal #7 Nov. 26, 2011

Picking up garbage wherever I go; bottle caps, ceramic tile, glass.

Nobody sells can openers; I’ll keep using a knife.

Stopped to kiss Nina then sat and read to her on her porch.

My ten minute walk home took me an hour.



Journal # 8 Dec. 3, 2011

A salamander clings to my wall and freezes when I move.

Rufino sells me an avocado and gives me a kiss.

Each time he tries for my lips, I twist my neck and he gets my cheek. 

When it’s dark, mosquitoes like my ankles.



Journal #9 Dec. 10, 2011

I wave my hand for a cheap ride on the guagua.

One more rider makes a baker’s dozen, cooking in the van.

Sitting between machete man and a grandma with a bag of oranges.

Stopped at Playa Grande and found a forgotten blue boat.



Journal # 10 Dec. 17, 2011

The car ride was an intense video game.

Winding roads lined with palm trees and prehistoric leafy plants. 

Salty water flicking in my face while I held on tight for a curvy boat ride.

Floating in the ocean, then keeping the sand off my hoagie.



Journal #11 Jan. 7, 2012

Swimming under dark clouds, watching rain making dots in the ocean.

Jazz on the beach sounds like a conversation between drums and waves.

The VIPs don’t get wet when it rains

The base stays in my head, dodging puddles, walking home.



Journal #12 Jan. 14, 2012

Got two free rides on motos today, glad I had my helmet.

Never enough plates when friends stop and offer them dinner.

Saucepan lids make good plates or almost bowls, even better.

The lights just went out, it’s 3AM, doesn’t really matter.




Journal #13 Jan. 21, 2012

Got a marriage proposal from a toothless 80 year old man this morning.

Dipped a paintbrush into my heart and painted love on childrens’ faces.

Kind of addicted to the garlic galleticas and café in the afternoon.

Put rum in my tea and I liked it.




Journal #14 Jan. 28, 2012

Bought a corn cob grilled on the curb for 10 pesos.

No umbrella means a rainwater shower with my neighbors.

Jonny hands me soap, washing my hair and feet, flicking my hair like a dog.

Next day, she fills my big bottle with fresh rainwater, sweet and free.




Journal #15 Feb. 4, 2012

On La Loma where Felicia lives, caves run under the brick colored dirt.

Half her floor is cement and the rest is dirt.

Her son takes me to see his roosters while her daughter washes dishes.

Two boys wearing shorts and bare feet sharing a bottle of orange fanta.




Journal #16 Feb. 11, 2012

Every kid always wants to be first in line and to have the sharpest pencil.

They like to pssst for attention and drink in praise by the gallons.

Painting plastic lid mandalas and the older boys bling them like necklaces.

Five of my morning fourth graders can’t write their last names.



Journal  #17 Feb. 18, 2012

A montessori student was told to sit still and listen to his teacher.

If not, his little white shirt would be given to another student.  He sat still.

Walked home with a pebble dancing up my chancleta from my heel to my toes.

Read my book by flashlight until I fell asleep.



Journal # 18 Feb. 25, 2012

I can hear that little girl on the moto laughing all the way down the street.

Bought some yucca young boys were selling out of a wheel barrel.

Bautista’s wife Maria says I have gripe; it’s really just a runny nose. 

The crunching pebbles under my feet let my neighbors’ know I’m home



Journal # 19 Mar. 3, 2012

The ice-cream truck is a man walking and whistling with a cooler on his shoulders.

New bright lime colored paint on my neighbor’s new upstairs makes me smile.

The puddles on my street grew larger today.

Rain on metal roofs sounds like clapping.



Journal #20 Mar. 10, 2012

Turquoise water puddles against the curb

Brown dog chomping on his butt again.

Huge spider crawled up my arm when I reached for a bag under the sink

People say; God willing and thanks to God. God is big here.



Journal #21 Mar. 17, 2012

Littlest boy with the biggest boots

Children buying salami and cheese empanadas before school.

Can buy whatever heals at the farmacia, no prescription needed.

Buy eggs individually, they put it in a little fundas, bring them home, fry them up.



Journal #22 Mar. 24, 2012

Bought salt water soaked buenfruta from a blue-eyed man.

Danced until 3AM then slept until 11AM.

Boulders on the beach picnic spot for olives, nuts and cheese.

My five peso café at 4 pm will be a 10 peso café tomorrow




Journal #23 Mar. 31, 2012

Little boys find round things that roll to make their racers then paint them white.

I have a pet salamander that lives in the coconut shell on my shelf.

Sitting on the tile floor, eating an orange, laughing, talking

Bought a pineapple from the camion vendor, tasted sweeter than straight sugar.




Journal #24 Apr. 7, 2012

My abuelita neighbors sweep the leaves from our stony yard.

Women glare with daggers, I smile, their face softens and they call you ‘mi amor.’

Sunshine rainshowers come and go, but my clothes stay on the line to dry.

Chinola-passion fruit  with Avena-ground oatmeal=breakfast of champions.

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