bitter parsley sprigs washed by blood and tears deaths of sojourners
In 1937, General Trujillo send his troops to the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic to remove Haitian workers. Many of the Haitian workers either themselves were Dominican citizens or had children born in the Dominican Republic. Nevertheless their 'blackness' bothered Trujillo who used stage makeup to hide his own complection. The troops would question a suspected Haitian. They would hold up a sprig of parsley - perejil in Spanish and ask the the suspect to to name the small green sprig. If the answer was "pesi" parsley in Kreyol, he or she was executed. More than 20,000 guest workers were killed. This haiku is a prayer to their memory and all victims of ethnic "cleansings" everywhere.