Vol. 22, No. 5,514 - The American Reporter - September 7, 2016



by Mark Scheinbaum
American Reporter Correspondent
Lantana, Fla.
November 22, 2007
Poetry
TO A STRANGER IN MY LAND

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LANTANA, FLA. (THANKSGIVING DAY, 2007)--For whatever reasons a morning trip to Dunkin' Donuts motivated me to write my first poem since high school, or perhaps college.

I am sure many of you could pen your own, superior version of the same theme:

LANTANA, FLA. (THANKSGIVING DAY, 2007)--For whatever reasons a morning trip to Dunkin' Donuts motivated me to write my first poem since high school, or perhaps college.

I am sure many of you could pen your own, superior version of the same theme:

A Stranger In My Land
by Mark Scheinbaum

The post dawn yellowed empty lot along the market's side

But elsewhere in the strip mall buzzed my Turkey Day surprise.

I strode quick into Dunkin' land where English' hardly spoke,

Emerged with coffee, stood, then turned, blood pressure on the

rise.


The football games, then mom's great feast, the friends, the

loves, the prayers the dreams

The toasts, the yams, the year's event, the love embracing hands

Now meant nothing, feeling less, the commerce took its stand

And realized in inner heart my strangeness in my land.


The Rainbow Store with racks on street a five, and seven bucks a dress

They rumaged through the smocks and schlock arrayed in raucous

mess

In Spanish, Creole, and dialetica Guatemalteca,

A work day off, a parking lot's adorning mierda seca.


The shoe repair, coin laundry cleaners, supermarket closed

The liquor store with Lotto cards, the Subway buns, the drugstore

chain, the dollar store, and others shone oblivious, carnivorous, Lord

Deliver Us.


Wedged near the package store and Rainbow rags the Golden Wok was

open wide

With business as usual for those alone, untutored, unbefriended,

In a land of tradition one thought hadn't ended.


An early morning Dos Equis canned, a boom-boxed punch Norteno

strand,

with families now time zones removed, they too

By happenstance, by chance?

Were strangers in their newfound land.


The Costco lot and tanks were closed

Their parking spaces swept and hosed

Day labor not two miles away

Would lean on trashcans, rattling, clattering, bottles

shattering.


The pre-noon sub trop palm trees' glow and breeze still failed to

hide

A bend in culture's rocky ride. The new, of sea-change size.

The holiday that bound us all, perhaps our strongest spoke,

A stranger in my native land asks, "Ketchup with your fries?"

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