Friday, 18 October 2019

For the Lovers - by Carla Cherry

Carla Cherry
Today, I am privileged to share this beautiful and powerful poem by Carla Cherry.  


For the Lovers 

As usual, journalists do what Big Business won’t.
Chirography in soil: I am only 15.
Since two-thirds of the world’s cocoa
is produced by the hands of two million West African children,
and after twenty years the corporations can’t keep the pledge to eradicate child labor,
chocolates should come wrapped in tattered rags.
Those of us who eat it should be compelled to drink water
that looks like milk
out of a dirty bucket.
All chocolate should be white like the cocoa beans it comes from.
It doesn’t deserve the beauty of brown.
Chocolates should taste like
the sour salt of sweat,
the tears of boys that miss their mothers, fathers, villages, and home-cooked meals,
the dirt embedded underneath their fingernails and in their second-hand clothes,
the blood that oozes when they cut themselves.
Hands that should be holding pencils and books
clench knives to cut open cocoa pods,
swing machetes against tall grasses to clear the land.
They fall asleep to the rhythm of back spasms.
For Mars
to make suffering sweet,
in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Brazil, and Belize,
children join their parents in the fields,
blistered hand in blistered hand,
risking dehydration, heat stress, chronic kidney disease.
How many more will wave,
yell Mwen Byen as they leave Haiti
for 12-hour days in the bayetes of the Dominican Republic.
No electricity,
running water,
indoor toilets.
The bending and rising at the waist,
the swish and clang of machete against cane,
from the wax, to the wane of the sun.
Safe from the loss of lus soli.
Mwen Byen.

Copyright © Carla Cherry 2019

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Carla M. Cherry is an English teacher from New York. Her poems have appeared in Anderbo, Eunoia Review, Dissident Voice, Random Sample Review, MemoryHouse Magazine, Bop Dead City, Down in the Dirt, In Between Hangovers, Firefly Magazine, Picaroon Poetry, Streetlight Press, Ariel Chart, Culture Cult Magazine, Hollow, Synaeresis, Interstice, Terra Preta Review, and Maximum Tilt. She has published four books of poetry through Wasteland Press: Gnat Feathers and Butterfly Wings (2008), Thirty Dollars and a Bowl of Soup (2017), Honeysuckle Me (2017), and These Pearls Are Real (2018). 

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