What is water but rain but cloud but river but ocean
but ice but tear.
What is tear but torn what is worn as skin as in as out
Exodus. I am trying to tell a tale that shifts like a gale
that hurricanes and casts a line
that buckles in wind that is reborn a kite a wing.
I am far
from the passage far from the plane of descending
suitcases passports degrees of mobility like heat
like heat on their backs.
This cluster of fine grapes Haitian purple beige
Copyright © 2020 by Danielle Legros Georges. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 8, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.
O poorest country, this is not your name.
You should be called beacon. You should
be called flame. Almond and bougainvillea,
garden and green mountain, villa and hut,
girl with red ribbons in her hair,
books under arm, charmed by the light
of morning, charcoal seller in black skirt,
encircled by dead trees. You, country,
are merchant woman and eager clerk,
grandfather at the gate, at the crossroads
with the flashlight, with all in sight.
Copyright © 2010 by Danielle Legros Georges. Originally featured on Public Broadcasting Service's Bill Moyers Journal. Used with permission of the author.