At 7am, Monday, January 24, 2011, I board the plane for my return flight to Haiti. Its been three months. For a few days now I’ve been thinking about the post I wanted to do upon my return to Haiti. I was going to reflect on my time here in the States, on how I have been assured in my heart that Haiti is the place God has called me, on how much I have been looking forward to my return and yet how conflicted I feel in my heart over the things here I am, once again, leaving behind. I am going to have to save that post for another day. What I will shared instead is a lovely poem. This poem comes from a collection of Haitian Poetry compiled into a volume called Open Gate*. One day, looking for an inspirational poem to share with someone I found this one. I believe its quite apropos to share upon my return.
Go there where you see your heart
Leading you keeping you from changing
Into a dry desert of sorrow
Worse than the skin of a drum.
Go there even when you’re discouraged
When you end up as salt meat
In banquets for bigwigs.
You have to go there, my brothers and sisters,
Where the people suffering
Never hear “Good Morning”
Where there’s no light
To enliven a day with hope.
Go there and bring the warmth of your love along
To make the people’s heart happy
To defy injustice and evil
Endured by the wretched of the earth
As if they had no right to be there,
There in the morning splendor of being alive.
You have to go there, live there, join us
If only with the little smiles of your mouths
O my sisters and brothers, we have to be there
Where together, without any dirty tricks,
We can grow corm, oranges, and friendship
For all of us on earth so in need of transformation.
-Tontongi, pg 227
*Open Gate: An Anthology of Haitian Creole Poetry