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Saturday, March 18, 2023


by Jerrice J. Baptiste

Gone, morsels of light from the island 
       flickering in silent eyes.


He waved goodbye last Tuesday
      to the turquoise sea, mid-day sun 


choking on tears. His welcome meal


sliced papaya, crescent plantains, 

      conch in creole sauce. Smiles. 

My cousin’s soft lashes
       brush American stars. Glow reflects


on forehead, cheek bones, bridge of nose.

       Lips speak freedom, a new language.


My uncle hears his son’s voice 

       migrated among birds of the white season. 

Night churns slow. How can he keep still?

      One has left his cocoon.


Even from gunfire.  

Author’s noteHumanitarian Parole offers an opportunity for people arriving in the U.S to feel like humans. Approved non-residents landing for the first time are welcomed appropriately and can adapt under the right conditions of housing, employment, education, etc. They can be happy even if their family members left behind—in Haiti, in the case of the speaker’s uncle in this poem—miss them terribly. 

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.