Friday, June 10, 2011

Poetry Friday: Flooding

I am still in the poem-a-day mode and very much enjoying all the writing. Some days I throw caution to the winds and write two poems.

But this week we also mourned, because Monday night a huge rainstorm caused terrible flooding in which at least 23 people were killed and also led to an increase in the number of people sick with cholera.

My first reaction to a disaster of this kind - and there have been many: hurricanes, floods, the earthquake, political unrest - is deep discouragement. Why again? Why so much suffering?

On Tuesday I wrote a poem about the flooding and about those feelings.

The Flood, Port-au-Prince, June 7, 2011

From those who have little,
Even what they have will be taken away.
Jesus said that,
And I see plenty of evidence
That it is true.

What Mackensia
Salvaged from the earthquake,
She lost in the flood.
What cholera left
To Jesula,
She lost in the flood.
What life had graciously
Allowed Marie-Claude to keep,
She lost in the flood.

Brown torrents of water
Carried it all away.
Birth certificates, food,
Beds, clothes,
And the neighbor's pig.

Ruth, from

My friend Shelley posted the photo at the top of this post, a photo of a mom of seven children who lost her home in the flood. Remember, these people are already earthquake survivors.

If you'd like to help Shelley and Corrigan help the people in their neighborhood, through their organization, The Apparent Project, you can find out how to do that here. Here's the website for their organization. They do amazing work with empowering women and families, helping people to earn a living through making beautiful jewelery so that they won't be forced to give up their children. So many of the orphanages in Haiti are filled with children who have living parents, parents who could not take care of their children due to extreme poverty. Here's some of what Shelley and Corrigan do when they aren't cleaning up after a flood. Hint: Donna Karan has visited recently.

Here's today's Poetry Friday roundup.


Author Amok said...

Hi, Ruth. Your post reminded me of another friend who has been witness to disaster this year. My friend, poet and children's author Holly Thompson, lives in Japan. She has been helping with clean up after the tsunami. If you're interested:

Ruth said...

Thanks! I went over and read it. It sounds as though the relief work is so incredibly well-organized there.

Melissa said...

To say this is moving is banal but true. Thank you!

Mary Lee said...

Enough is enough!

Janet said...

Sorry it's taken me so long to get over here and say:

Yep. Speechless.

Excellent poem. Unspeakable reality.

Sarah SSM said...

May I repost? This poem needs to be shared.

Ruth said...

Sure, Sarah.