El Dilemma

When I came into this world,

my lungs inhaled freedom

and exhaled a loud cry of justice.
My eyes fluttered open

like the wings of a bald eagle.

But my blood ran hot

like sancocho*,

and my tears tasted like

the Caribbean Sea.


When I walk,

I leave a trail of sand behind me.

My smile spells out the words

Santo Domingo*

My skin, café con leche*

with a hint of sugar,

and my hair, a wild mane

of African descent.


Although still red, white and blue,

it isn’t the same.

I’m in the land of the free

and the home of the brave,

but I don't feel like I belong.

I am a foreigner

in my own land.

My alma* hovering above the Atlantic,

not quite sure where I stand.



sancocho: a heavy soup consisting of meat and root vegetables


Santo Domingo: the capital of the Dominican Republic


cafe con leche: coffee with milk


alma: soul 


This poem is about: 
My family
My community
My country


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