Two Poems | Juanita Rey



I’m sitting on a park bench,

with paper and pen,

working on a new poem.


Only old men

stop and ask me

what I’m doing.


I say, “Writing poetry.

They shake their heads

and move on.


Then I spy this guy

I know.


He comes over,

asks me what I’m doing.


I say “Writing poetry.”

He shakes his head and stays.


I’ve learned to live

with the shakes of the head.


It’s the moving on

or staying

that matters.






I’m stuck maybe twenty pages into

my autobiography.


I can’t make the main character

anyone I know.

Nor speak in her voice.

Or get behind the disguises.


It’s frustrating.

I screw up paper.

I toss my pen against the wall.

Everyone says,

you sure got an imagination girl.

Is that what prevents me

from seeing things straight?


It’s not easy

getting myself down in words.

I worked as a waitress

but I never was one.

And I’ve scrubbed and cleaned

my kitchen floor

but I’m no maid.


There’s someone in this room

struggling to make of herself

a deep clear mirror.

I’ve spent twenty pages

looking in the glass.

The twenty first

is hidden in the back somewhere.


Photo by Unseen Studio on Unsplash



Juanita Rey is a Dominican poet who has been in this country five
years. Her work has been published in Mixed Mag, The Mantle and The
Art Of Everyone.

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