11 November 2010
by Justice Putnam
Black Kos Tuesday's Chile, Poetry Editor
As Haiti and her tragedies continue to fade from the collective memory of a Nation consumed with its own Exceptionalism, there remains a collective few who keep the memory alive. If we don't keep Haiti in the forefront of our concern, then we will have condemned the island and her people as we always have. Yet concern without action means we have condemned Haiti to an even greater tragedy.
What good are your tears?
They will not spare the dying their anguish.
What good is your concern
to a child sick of living, waiting to perish?
What good, the warm benevolence of tears
What help, the eloquence of prayers,
or a pleasant benediction?
Before this day is gone,
how many more will die
with bellies swollen, wasted limbs,
and eyes too parched to cry?
I fear for our souls
as I hear the faint lament
of their souls departing ...
mournful, and distant.
How pitiful our "effort,"
yet how fatal its effect.
If they died, then surely we killed them,
if only with neglect.
-- Michael R. Burch