by Justin Colón-Rabinowitz

The worst time for me
Was in 1974
When my back gave out 
& they let me go from the factory job
& Snow & Ice paved every street y callejón
 A new blizzard every week
The wind barked 
Como un perro rabioso
Telling me I wasn't much of a man
While I tried to keep warm
Huddled next to the radiator with my kids
Listening to the wind hiss against the window like a black serpent
Trying to get through the cracks 
With its frozen venom
All was dark and desolate on Webster Ave that winter
We almost lost our rhythm and soul
But my wife was strong
Stronger than me
Era una mujer de honor y respeto
She'd put on some salsa by El Gran Combo
  And make us
A steaming pot of Sancocho con viandas
& we'd eat big chunks of plátanos & yautía
& drink café con leche, comer galletas
& reminisce about the good old days en la Isla
When we used to drink cerveza y reírnos
En la playa de Luquillo
With our friends and family
Bajo la sombra cobijadora
De los frondosos cocoteros
And the magificent Antillano Sun
Shining on our Brown skin