La Romana, Dominican Republic

The flavor of the spicy grass
Hangs like a sash around my waist
The winter bite from Canada can’t touch me today
Or the blooms surrounding the fence
A skinny cat sleeps under the chair on the porch
Her paws closing on an unseen meal or dreamed of teat
Her call for food as I walk by makes me think
That the little tortoise shell in the ally back home
Is looking fat

Here, where none of the guests have cat food in their room
They must know where the kitchen is
I notice what strain of grass is sown
My suburban training paying off in the tropics
Even the delays take time here
Removed from winter, waiting now that the wait is over
The clouds put on a show
While my feet roast on the red tile

When here is new there is a settling in period
Learning the lay of the land
Finding the service roads past the groundskeeper’s shacks
Past the pump house that keeps it all green
Out of the safety zone and through the construction area
To yet another golf tee by the sea
Coral hijacked to play paver
The ocean pays time and again

The cat still asleep in the shade
This place as good as any
The time to wait here is nearly over
The time to wait somewhere else about to begin.