This year, I was looking at my window poems and thinking about what children can see out their windows in this time of unrest and confusion in our island home. Many children are sitting at home now with little to do but look out the window, since thousands of schools all over Haiti are closed. Those who look out may find burning tires, large groups of demonstrators, clouds of tear gas. Everything beautiful is still there, too, but sometimes it's hard to see it.
A bird outside a window at my house; I believe it's a gray kingbird.
As I was contemplating these thoughts and a possible poem, my husband sent me some images that have been making the rounds on social media. They show people covering windows with concrete blocks. It's typical here to protect windows, whether in homes or businesses, with metal bars, but apparently these stores wanted more; rioters have been breaking windows with rocks, so it may not be a bad idea. Windows are expensive to replace. But windows are also designed to see through.
I wrote this poem in response:
Block it Up
Block it up,
cover the glass
protect what’s inside
from angry crowds,
turn the window
into a wall.
Block it up,
block it up!
How will anyone see in?
How will anyone see out?
It doesn’t matter!
Better closed than smashed!
Better blocked than vulnerable!
Something there is that loves a wall.
Block it up!
Ruth, from thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com
Oh, friends, what a struggle it is to figure out how far to be open, and how far to protect ourselves and stay safe! I mean that in every possible way from entirely metaphorically to extremely literally.
Today, on this Poetry Friday, the Catholic church in this country has called for a day of prayer and fasting for an end, with peace and justice, to the crisis in Haiti. If you're so inclined, we would welcome your participation. We're tired and ready for the walls of separation to come down. We're ready to see better things when we look out the window.
Karen Edmisten has the roundup today.