Poem for Haiti by Sarah Menefee

oh Haiti

oh Haiti! you are the battered face
of what we do and what we are
poorest of poor: poor made poorer
crushed and abandoned with
the vultures of exploitation
wheeling around your broken bones
dipping their beaks in your blood
sending in their soldiers and guns
to keep you again
from what you need:
a scrap of food a rag to lie on
when all the blankets are laid across
broken bodies

oh Haiti! thin from your fare of starvation
your stomach on fire from your diet of mud
left to you by the global profiteers
in your immiseration
by sweatshop-peddling ex-presidents
and the crooked gamblers
of ghoul capital
by the architects of slums
the poisoner privateers
the mercenaries of hunger

ecco: the tender babes
thrown into the jaws
of a man-made earthquake

we’ve seen it here: how they let us drown
and bring in the troops to gun us down
when we try to take what we need
out of the ruins that nature makes everyone’s

how much violence will it take
to enforce this separation
of food and mouth of life and limb?
how much more will it take
till we take it back again?

will they who have least of all
and nothing to lose and all taken all
show us how its done
out of this utter rubble?

Sarah Menefee

January 15, 2010