for those few Cape Verdeans who became owners in the southeastern Massachusetts cranberry industry in the 1930s
What kept you in the bogs, Domingo
when the other crioles left the shanties
at the edge of the cranberry fields
each brittle November to return
to Fogo with gifts wrapped in pretty boxes
for girls they’d loved in their youth? Didn’t you
have sisters or grandparents or these dreams
awaiting you, or were they lost in the famine?
Did word from Fogo say the girl you left
had married another? Alone in Plymouth
you tended bogs as they iced, then thawed
then reddened into summer
on land you’d bought where pickers came
to you each fall, as if returning home.
JARITA DAVIS is a poet and fiction writer with a B.A. in classics from Brown University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in creative writing from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. Her work has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Plainsongs, Tuesday; An Art Project, Verdad Magazine, and Cape Cod Poetry Review. Her poetry collection Return Flights is forthcoming from Tagus Press in March 2016. She lives and writes in West Falmouth, MA.