I apologize in advance if the image or content offend anyone. This particular post should probably be rated R for graphic violence and imagery.
The Face of Haiti, image by Eduardo Munez/Reuters
This is the circle in which we now dance:
One more body to tally, to move, to bury or burn,
no refuge, no safety, no comfort, no succor
only suvival now. ~ L. Liwag
I could not let go of this photograph. It stayed with me deep into the night and well past daybreak. From a country only hundreds of miles away and a culture far light years removed, this man called to me, and I could not let it go until I put something down in words. The words are rushed, coming into my mind faster than I can arrange them, but for now, this is what my heart wanted to say:
The Man Beseeches—
His tear-filled eyes plea
for help that will come too late
for the child he bears in his arms,
her lifeless body wrapped in a blood-stained winding sheet.
We cannot hear his anguished cries—
we know only that the closing of the shutter
has forever silenced that second of sorrow.
Look at him closely:
his furrowed brow and his fallen jaw
are mirrored on his daughter’s face,
now carefree in death.
The blood of his child seeps onto his dark shirt
and mingles there with his own unseen wounds,
memorialized now forever in the images
we ingest in the cloaked safety
of our existence,
completely removed from his pain.
What are we to do with this man,
this manifestation of his country’s destruction?
Our words will not help him,
our wallets will not find him,
our shame will not touch him,
and sooner than we would like,
our guilt will render him into nothingness.
He is looking in the wrong direction,
this man beseeching.