Thursday, January 14, 2010
Earthquake in Haiti
I had fallen asleep on the couch
awaken at 10:00 with the nightly news,
“Earthquake in Haiti, devastation,
high body count, pictures coming in…”
I shook my head to clear my thoughts
trying to focus on the sight,
a dust cloud rising across the horizon,
the words from a woman, “Oh my
god, our world is ending,”
and then picture after picture
of toppled buildings
covered in dust and blood.
Old footage of an earlier visit,
a reporter stating, “The condition
of these buildings is a recipe for disaster.”
The camera reveals his prediction,
as survivors look for loved ones
buried under two tons of concrete.
Compassionate people worldwide
respond with money, resources and time
but who can repair the death of so many?
What happens to a community when thousands are lost
regardless of station or financial security?
How does the soul deal with the changes?
Some call it post traumatic stress,
a depression that sets in for several generations,
voices changed from screaming and crying,
a fear of a god who would allow such destruction.
Where is the justice?
Fires and earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes,
so many natural disasters and man made catastrophes,
When will it stop?
There is no time to dwell
at the philosophical level.
There’s work to be done,
people’s wounds to be tended
rescuers must be assigned to search
for survivors, construction crews need
to clear away debris and rebuild,
leadership must arise from those that
are left, and somehow in all of this,
a reason to live...
Stories fill the nighttime
news making our petty concerns
more endurable and each of us must
answer the questions,
What can I do?
How can I help?
Somewhere in the rubble an old lady sings
a lullaby from when she was young, a
melody to bring sleep for herself
but to let everyone know
danger is still on the way.
Si ou pa dodo
Krab la va manje ou
Krab lan kalalou*
Sleep little one
If you don’t sleep
The crab will eat you
Sleep little one
Crab in okra gumbo
* Haitian lullaby