Published on Academy of American Poets (

Poem for the Poorest Country in the Western Hemisphere

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.


Danielle Legros Georges

Danielle Legros Georges is the author of The Dear Remote Nearness of You (Barrow Street Press, 2016) and was chosen as Boston's second poet laureate in 2014.

Date Published: 2016-11-14

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