Juanita Rey


I thought he was a sailor
though I never saw him
ever leave the shore.

But other men 
who looked like him
went out to sea,
caught fish,
didn’t hang out at the bar.

My mother never said
a thing about him
in my presence.
He could have been an astronaut
for all I heard from her.

And he,
those few times when 
he made an attempt to see me,
never told me how 
he made his living.
I didn’t know then
that there were people
who didn’t have 
a living to make.

So I kept on believing he was a sailor
because, being young,
I needed all the beliefs
I could get.

And he once gave me a shell
he’d picked up from the beach.
That was as near as he got to salt water,
as near as bringing bounty home to me.


Juanita Rey is a poet from the Dominican Republic, residing in the USA. She has been published in magazines such as Pennsylvania English, Petrichor Machine, Pinyon and online at sites such as 2 River Review and Madcap Poets.