Planting plátanos in Jaibon, Dominican Republic (2012)

A man with his face half-soaked

with shade from a straw sombrero

balances his wheelbarrow as he bolts

down the heightened aisles of earth,

lifting a load full to the brim

with plátanos tree cuttings.


Now pauses, picks one & places it

into a cradle of soil, tucking it in

& kissing it like it was his own son,

while beads of sweat dive

off the curl in his mustache,

falling & fertilizing the fruit of his labors.

Eric Obscherning is a senior studying biology, creative writing, and global health. Currently, his life is comprised of writing two theses. (Never do this.) He’s passionate about (and critical of) global development, having been a part of some successful, mostly unsuccessful projects to this end in Uganda and the Dominican Republic.