Volunteer Blues

Rage tastes like salty sweat on my lips, I can not wipe away, chemicals on my hand

Rage sounds like 4th of July fireworks on land that is not free

the irony of red, white and blue, freedom comes in restrictions.

Apathy feels like going through the motions, turning off the rage with hammers, nails and photo ops with homeowners.

We scrape, broom and replace roofs that will face hurricanes again, no more resilient than the last.

Maria gives hugs that last more than 30 seconds, she knows she might never see us again.

Maybe she feels like her name is tainted by the storm, and her compassion is fiercer than the fear it left behind.

Joy looks like Maria’s smile after we finished her house, and the warm embrace she reserved for each of us

resilience is not in the roof, it is in her hope and gratitude.

Did she know I needed someone to tell me I am loved?

Resilience looks like murals on every block that demand freedom

or just reminders that the beauty of the island is also in the hands of the residents.

Mariposa says,”I was not born in Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico was born in me”

Happiness feels like I believe her and me too.


Written by Antolina Garcia




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