Haiti 1995

Her skin was darker than the dirt road,

But not as dark as the heavy night.

She laid still and lifeless,

But her eyes were open

And her mouth was agape.

Her neck was nearly ninety degrees,

Snapped by a heavy wire.

Her arms and legs were everywhere

Like a puppet without the strings.

A policeman with latex gloves

Pinched her skin with a pair of pliers.

A crowd of ivory eyes stood around her,

Silent or barely muttering.

The truck that let her hang was gone.

She was a nonentity now,

She was somebody’s daughter at least.

She is no one,

But then she was everyone;

Dead, yet quietly sinking back into the darkness.

 

©2017 Valerie Hathaway

 

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