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Friday, January 27, 2023


by Jerrice J. Baptiste 

Angry demonstrators have roared through the streets of Haiti’s capital, blocking roads and shooting guns into the air to protest a slew of killings of police officers by Haitian gangs over the last week. Haitian news outlet Le Nouvelliste reported that angry scenes erupted in several neighbourhoods of Port-au-Prince on Thursday, and barricades of burning tyres were erected in the centre of the city.  Aljazeera, January 26, 2023. Photo: A man gestures by a barricade of flaming tires during a police demonstration in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 26, 2023. Officers were protesting after a gang attack the day before on a police station in Liancourt left several officers dead. —VOA, January 26, 2023

Dedicated to all of my family in Haiti

"I'm going to lose my life," he screams.
Gunshots in rounds, mind on
a roller coaster ride, vibrating bees
disturbed on a hot day in june
except it's january 26, 2023. Bullets

wake up, shake up my eardrum.
Like a conductor gives the cue,
his quaking voice in my ear rises,

his instrument, a steady shriek,
final end to a symphony.
"Everyone's shot around me" he yells.

Feet in flight, heart dodges left right left 
No boulders in city of Port-au-Prince.
"This might be my last day." His voice quakes.

Low hum follows the phone's sudden click. 
Heart drops with conductor's hands.
No hole to hide in the bear's den.


Author’s note: My uncle Roodly was almost killed yesterday. I wrote this poem about the events that happened in Haiti yesterday.

Editor’s noteRoodly Laurore’s poem “Ayiti,” translated from Haitian Kreyòl by Jerrrice J. Baptiste, appeared in The New Verse News, October 13, 2022.

Jerrice J. Baptiste is an author of eight books and a poet in residence at the Prattsville Art Center & Residency in NY.  She is extensively published in journals and magazines. She has been nominated as  Best of The Net by Blue Stem for  2022.