Gabe Florsheim

When The Earthquake Hit Haiti - Poem by Gabe Florsheim

When the earthquake hit Haiti
I merely stumbled.

I took a step and
I didn't know why
I guess I tripped.

I also didn't know
That terrible tragedies
Took place moments ago.

Thousands lost their lives.
Millions lost their homes.
All was lost for the lucky ones.
But all I lost
was my balance
for half of a second.

Buried alive in cement
Pickaxes are the salvation.
Cries for water
From parched throats
Ring out over Port-Au-Prince.
These cries travel through the pipes
They over power purification systems
So I can hear them
From my running tap
Of filtered water.

Some names are known.
They are attached
To the debris covered bodies.
Silent prayers and muffled tears
Are all that those people have
Whose names are lost.

But I read obituaries
Of people in my town
Who will sit in coffins.
Funerals are attended in Seattle.

Mass graves are dug in Haiti.

Unsure spouses and teary children
Terrified parents and worried grandparents
Stand by broken heaps
Of weak drywall
Hearing terribly familiar voices.

And I text my friends
To spread the news
Whenever I want.

Separated by country borders
Families pray and weep
For loved ones.
The lone doctors
Need medicine
But the broken bones
Need it more.

On January 12,2010
4: 53 p.m. was a final minute.
Terrible screams were heard
And nothing could be done.

In that moment
I landed on a solid floor
Roofs that were not
As solid killed many
And injured all.

And here I stand
On broken mentality
But still whole
And here they are
All of them
Crushed, shattered,
Like broken glass.

So who am I,
from one step,

To be crying.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, May 12, 2012

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