My Dominican Breakfast

Kim, over at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, asked for a poem about cooking that “appeals to the senses and is related to [our] life or culture in some way.” I woke up with the Dominican Republic singing memories into my mind—a poem about the kind of breakfast I used to eat when I was a child tasted just right. The side order of nostalgia that came with the writing of the piece was not part of the original recipe… neither was the craving for breakfast in the middle of the afternoon *sigh*.

“My Dominican Breakfast”

Morning food was green bananas,
doing a tenderizing water dance
in a cauldron kissed by firewood.

Next to the cauldron bubbled a tiny pot
that had never been called a kettle; yet,
its belly brewed nothing but ginger tea.

My belly sang its rumbles to the brew,
waiting for the spicy warmth to simmer
true, readying its self for morning food.

True morning food is green bananas
and ginger tea, over firewood and smoke,
conjuring memories… to sting my eyes.

Linked to Poets United (Poetry Pantry 330)

“Fogón… What’s Cooking?” by Mercedes Dayanara

Red City Barn

the serenata of engines
rolling down and up Broadway
lulls me from sleep;

except on Friday nights.

At the dawn of each weekend,
the commuting symphony
is accompanied by duets
(and trios)
all pissed off and calling for blood,
a cappella.

How I long for the song of island winds…

You knew he was with me.
But tramps only care for themselves.”

“I didn’t know.
Do I talk like an ignorant tramp?
Do I dress like a tramp?
No, that’s you.”

“You two deserve each other.
I hope he treats you real bad
and screws you worse.”

How I long for the song of Caribbean crickets…

When the concerto
of cars and buses and drunk romance
gets too loud, I change direction.

I place the lively pub patrons at my back
and focus on the redemption
of my bit of city:

for even on the darkest of nights,
I can see the barn through trees and shadows,
conjure up the red of its walls,
and feel the gaze of horses
widening the grin on my face.

I will always long for the song
of island winds,
of Caribbean crickets,
of a palmwood cottage
settling for the night…

But while I’m grinning at my Red City Barn,
the longing is just bittersweet nostalgia,
for childhood songs now gone.

for Dee

linked to Sanaa’s Prompt Nights, A Cup of Nostalgia

in Poetry Jam,
Brian Miller wanted to know a secret
that made my city special

Red Barn


Red Barn Gate