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Growing Up in Puerto Rico-A Poem For My Birthday

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  • Growing Up in Puerto Rico-A Poem For My Birthday

    I decided to write this poem to celebrate my birthday today, I hope it brings some of you as many memories as it brought me growing up in my beautiful Puerto Rico.

    Growing Up In Puerto Rico
    by JoseNestor, 10/6/04

    Walking alongside the old worn train tracks,
    Sugar cane fields of gold and green in back,
    Sunrise in motion, full of color and graphic,
    Clouds move aside to let light do its magic.

    A smile on my face, I see breakfast ahead,
    Raspberries and guavas are the menu today,
    I skip a step or two, full of youthful excitement,
    A handful of treats and no one to deny me.

    A guaraguao flies high screaming its song to the wind,
    “This is my domain, in these skies I am the king,”
    The pitirres come calling at the king’s bequests,
    And promptly remind him with their beaks
    What bird is really the master of this place.

    Here come a hundred guineas chocloking their calling,
    They all come in a bunch with a thousand chicks tolling.
    They fall in their places one behind the other,
    Hoping the ardillas are still in the slumber.

    A pair of ruiseñores makes its presence felt,
    They fly from pole to pole singing to each other.
    The whole island is witness to their unfolding song,
    They pair up for life and for them love is all.

    I hear the ground tremble, at a distance a squeal.
    I know what is coming and I am beyond thrill.
    I move aside and get out of the tracks,
    For the sugar train’s coming and I watch it pass.

    I stand right there, hoping for good luck,
    The train takes a turn, at a track joint it bucks,
    As I see sugar cane fall in a tightly neat bunch,
    I run quickly to pick up the world’s best lunch.

    The blues of the ocean fill my heart with joy,
    I sit under a flamboyant tree to remember it all.
    With my teeth I peel off the skin of my savory treat,
    I am happy and content, what a great morning feat.

    No money in my pocket, on my feet second hand shoes,
    Yesterday’s clothes on my back, and today nothing to loose.
    But I know I will always be richer than anyone’s wildest dreams.
    For I got to grow up drinking the sweet water of my island streams.

  • #2
    Jíbaro-English Dictionary

    Raspberries - Just like you know them. They grow wild in PR.
    Guavas - A tasty fruit from a short tree with very hard wood.
    Guaraguao - Native American (and present) name for the Puerto Rico's indigenous hawk, and largest bird of prey on the island.
    Pitirre - A small territorial bird with a long sharp beak. It is often seen defending its territory from a hunting guaraguo by striking it their beaks in mid flight.
    Ardillas - mongooses, a relative of the ferret, fast killer of snakes, including cobras, introduced to the island by the spanish to control rats and snakes, now a pest itself with more than 1 million living in PR.
    Guinea - (Guinea birds) were birds native to Africa brought to the island aboard slave ships (they are very gregarious, powerful flyers, but make good farm birds (kind of like chickens) and make for good eating (specially cooked with rice); a guinea can have a couple dozen chicks in a clutch.
    Ruiseñores - Caribbean nightingales.
    Flamboyant Tree - Is the perennial caribbean tree with its long winding branches and beatiful small, abundant flowers that can be red, orange or yellow (mainly red in PR).
    Sugar cane - a popular children and adult treat on the island is to eat raw sugar cane (watch out for stomachaches)

    Thank you for reading my post.

    Your friend, so far from Caguas,



    • #3
      Happy Birthday

      I hope you have a great birthday today!


      • #4
        Jose Nestor and Italia Lena

        Jose, thanks for bringing back memories with your poem and for the info that follow. Thanks Again! Happy Birthday and may God Bless with 100 more in good health!

        Italia-Lena: you are a beautiful girl! Have a great day!


        • #5
          Muchas gracias to both Rivera and Italia_Lena for your replies. I am glad I brought you memories from the island Rivera. Many of the images I tried to capture in this poem are unfortunately fading forever as time passes on the island. It is up to us to keep them alive for our kids.

          Italia, there is no more beautiful sight than the image of a bride walking down the aisle on the happiest day of her life. I said it before on another thread, but, congratulations, happiness and best of luck to you both.