Story Publication logo December 13, 2010



Media file: Nadine.jpg

Last January's earthquake destroyed Haiti's health care system, once at the forefront of the...

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Multiple Authors
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Image by Andre Lambertson, Haiti, 2010.

all day long I watch over a town
that's broken down

(Josaphat Robert Large)

Every crumbled building is a tomb.
We step over grey crushed bricks
and the entanglement of steel.

The faint scent of death still in the air;
every sliver of laughter dries in the heat
the dust, the stones, the dust, the stones.

The doctor offers a wry smile,
shrugs his shoulders and says,
"C'est la vie, ki pa -- vie c'est une terib".

He points to the grey slabs of cement
where the hospital once stood--
he counts eighteen—the women

in maternity with their new babies
and their families counting fingers
and toes—they were on the second floor--

on the first were the diligent nurses;
at the top were the broken bodies
of the healing—they are all entombed

in the stone—for days the scent
of their rotting blanketed our skins,
now, after the blue helmeted soldiers

sprayed the ruins (they have done
this before) it is bearable--death
sulks in the corner, like our hearts

which leap at each sound of rumbling.
The city dances to live, the music
leaping against despair. An old

woman skips to avoid a truck.
This earth devours the dead
with such efficiency, and we are left

with our heads covered in dust,
our eyes searching for familiar
faces, our hearts safely tucked away.



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