PRIVILÉGE BLANC

Folder: 
MARCO! POLO!

 

Lonely Planet advised us

about the border.

You cross from Dagabon

into Ounaminthe

venture across the Massacre River.

 

The people were kind

although the level of poverty

was stunning:

open sewage in the streets

Dry ice at the markets.

 

There’s poverty in the D.R.

But it’s the kind of poverty

you can laugh about.

At least there’s lush vegetation

And the people actually eat.

 

I was known as “Blanc”

Or so the children called me.

 

The border is intense.

The Dominicans open the gates

twice a week to allow 

the Haitians to shop Dagabon markets

although many Haitians

are poised at the river

to make a swim for it.

 

There was a mob of people

at the border gate

and I thought it would be hours.

 

But Jon-Jon our guide

says no no 

and leads us on a path

straight thru the crowds

American passports in tow.

 

We bypass the line 

and the crowds of people

and waltz on through

to the now seeming wealth

of the Dominican Republic.

 

I guess I couldn’t pass 

for Haitian even with

the deepest tan of my life

so I get to cross the border freely.

 

 

 

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