10 Things You Should Know About… 3

Ten Truths About Landings

I am as modest as NASA.
The hips of my grandmother.
The tongue of a pirate.
The stillness of a sunken shuttle.
I was aiming for the moon,
but overshot my landing.
I was not elegant like the tide
against the shore.
I was not light enough to float
with the sharks or heavy enough
for gravity.
So now at my dinner table,
I can feel the crash rubble
shaking my bones awake,
aching for me to try again.
Because no one gets it right
the first time.
And no one should expect to

~AN

Ten Things You Should Know About Haitians…

There are ten things you should know about Haitians
The first thing you should know is we speak French and Haitian Creole, not Haitian
Haitians is who we are,not what we speak
The 2nd thing you should know is we  spend six years of our life studying your language
When we land over to your country we speak
your language,
and when you land on ours we still speak yours.
The 3rd thing you should know is that we are not just some poor people thrown in an island
We have a history, one that you should probably know about
but never learned because the story of a third world country has no importance to you
But next time when you’re asked about us, do not give the little info that you got from the news
Some news that were reported by
your people by what they saw or heard
The 4th thing you should know about us is that we hold ourselves with pride
See to us, we are more than just earthquake survivors as you call us
and more than boat people as you used to call us.
The 5th thing you should know about Haitians is our strength
We cry among us, we laugh with you
So don’t ever say you’ve witnessed us ask you for anything personally
We got our independence 209 years ago for a reason
And I am not referring to the rich upper class haitian population I am talking about the people
The people of Haiti.
The mothers that sell food across the dusty streets just so her kid could have a loaf of bread for breakfast
Maybe nothing for dinner, but enough to keep her going until tomorrow
Among those mothers will probably be one of us young girls.
The 6th thing you should know is we also have a dream
Not one similar to the american dream, money cars and beach houses
more like a Martin Luther King dream
a peace and loving place where we could get together and enjoy our sea as much as you enjoy it when you stop by
The 7th thing you should know about Haitians is that we love our country as much as you hate to hear about its problems
Problems yes, we have shit load of those
problems that you would never understand because me and you are different
The 8th thing you should know about Haitians is we leave for a reason
Not because we stopped loving Haiti,
but because we love it enough to leave and admit that maybe there is better out there
Like you know that student that goes to school and still copes to work two jobs
Yes, the little that she makes, she sends it overseas because her and I know
That when you call back home they won’t tell you
because they love you enough not to let you worry
but her and I know…
the 9th thing that you should know about Haitians and this is going to sound weird to some of y’all
we believe in education
No matter how tight money was around the house
going to school or college was never a question
Mom and dad had a plan for me
which later became my vision
and now is a living reality
The last thing you should  know about Haitians is me
me and the many more that migrated before me
we have a vision and this why we are here.
So next time you want judge us and our decision of what you called hypocrisy,
just know that there are more to us than just that.

~GPL

Ten Things You Should Know About Daniel

Number One . . .  & I mean Number One:

Daniel had the biggest heart in the world.
Just ask anyone in his family, his friends, hell ask anyone in the whole damn town.
Number Two:
Daniel was comical.
If he saw the slightest hint of blues or sadness, he would tell you the corniest joke ever.
It worked though; you wouldn’t be able to resist his silly grin, so you would burst out laughing.
Laughter is the best medicine, eh?
Number Three:
Daniel was generous.
That boy would give you his last quarter; that would be because he couldn’t seem to keep a whole dollar in his pocket for more than a day or two.
Number Four:
Daniel had unconditional love for all.
That boy would walk miles to be with those he loved.
We teased him about his seriously worn shoes; he usually had a brand new pair of boots sitting at home. What was that about D?
One could say that by his young age of 33, he had walked a million miles.
Number Five:
Daniel was affectionate.
No handshakes with him, uh-uh, no siree; hugs only.
Number Six:
Daniel was an artist.
My, oh my, how that boy could draw.
Daniel drew the most awesome caricature of himself for his cousin-sister.
Totally “Homie” style with his cap and his hands shoved into his baggie pants.
Number Seven:
Daniel was a kid at heart.
Playtime with his kids or with his friends was one of the most wonderfullest things to watch.
An adult kid, that’s what he was.
Number Eight:
Daniel loved music.
Wanna play ‘Name that Tune’ with him?
Go ahead, try it. I dare you!
But I’m telling you, he’ll win.
Number Nine: Daniel was extremely family-oriented.
Tia Connie was referred to as “Mine Mom”-she promptly responded with “Mine Son.”
Tia Judy was fondly called “Judith Mulkeypants.” What did that even mean?
Grampa Rey was called “Good Cooker.”
He would call his cousins with his standard “What up cuz?” inquiry.
Daniel, his brother, and his cousin dubbed themselves the Three Amigos.
Number Ten:
Daniel was charming.
He had ridiculously long eyelashes.
Bat one of those at any girl and there she was, following him anywhere.
(Pause)
Have you heard the words to “Daniel, My Brother?”
~JM

 

3 comments

  1. GPL,

    The emotion in your poem is easily seen to be derived straight from your heart. I can sense the proud sense of humility coming from your country and how stereotypes often hurt that pride.But your pride is stronger than that.

  2. GPL
    This poem is certainly rich with feelings as well as information. The following lines are quite powerful:
    is we leave for a reason
    Not because we stopped loving Haiti,
    but because we love it enough to leave and admit that maybe there is better out there
    Thank you

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