Guatemala: Poetry

Hola m’hija
Ahorita llego
De platicar con un ciego
Pero voz fijo
Su corazón de fuego

Perdió su visión
En el año ochenta y siete
Por un accidente de cohete
Creando una fisión
En ambos ojos y la mente

Escuchame, me indicaba
Es el trigésimo primer año
De vivir así cotidiano
Pero lo que me perjudica
No es aquel daño

Lo que más me ha dañado
En estos treinta y un años
Es que cada ser humano
A quien he escuchado
Le toma la visión por sentado

-Adam Moyer

Dirt floor and hanging corn
Lush carpet and ceiling fan

Candle light and wood fire
Flipped switch and microwave

Wooden bed and shared room
Mattress pad and closed door

Tortilla making and mountain climbing
Eating out and five cars

Eight siblings and roaming chickens
Nuclear family and backyard

Outhouse and outdoor spigot
Flushing toilets and hot water

Playing catch and manual labor
Toy room and studying science

Worn clothing and no education
Full closet and college degree

Below poverty and pure joy
Middle class and …

-Madeline Mast

Poems are freaking hard
Harder than living abroad
We’re already halfway done
Time flies when you’re having fun
There was AP, Douglas and Tucson
Guatemala City and Coban
And I almost forgot Atitlan
My Spanish still sucks
But who gives two ducks
(I write kid friendly poems)
I have experienced so many cultures
And seen the basurero with vultures
I have slept on planks of wood
And where people were massacred I have stood
The people here have beautiful souls
They’ll keep giving you food when you’re full
While they eat so little
And have so little
The lucky ones have opportunity
And the rest live in poverty
Yet they all wave and smile
While this gringo says “buenos” and passes by

-Lucas Miller

Where is the oxygen
Not in my lungs
My throat burns
Straining my legs
My back
My whole being
These children
We would label them poor
And yet here
In this context
I’m the poor one
Lacking strong lungs
Legs that don’t ache
When I pull myself
Up the mountain

Where is my knowledge
Of using this bathroom
And sleeping on wood
I am poor
I have nothing
That is useful here
In this context
I am forced to think
A different way
For to me they’ve
Been poor
Because poor is just
About money
But being here
My money means
And poor is about lack of
Knowledge and
And language

-Jenna Heise

Guatemala & Cuba 2018