Monday, November 26, 2012

new poem: toll up

over 600, 000 cholera
cases in haiti since
october 2010 official death
toll up to 7, 500
grief rising

behind the numbers

people
their words
their hearts
their faith

victims hum pop songs

victims fall in love forever
or with the wrong
people victims rebound
or never forgive

victims buy soap

victims watch lousy soap operas
dubbed in floral french perfume
victims learn to walk
again learn to steal learn stillness

victims find cake

and candle out of no way
mark a grandparent's birthday
fret over wavering knife
in withered hand

victims

have
names
not
victim 

before another american argues

about which strain
caused the stain
count the pairs of eyes
squinting against the sun

count the hairs on each head

the prayers before dreams
the raindrops on tents
the wide-awake curses
the steps to the hospital

the living count

their thirst

© 2012 by Lenelle Moïse