Published on Academy of American Poets (

What is Water?

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
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
black brown.


Copyright © 2020 by Danielle Legros Georges. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 8, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“This poem began as an attempt to identify the onset of dynamics that ultimately force a group of people to leave their home country, in this case Haiti. I think maybe the question is where does one start a story involving oppression and freedom?”
Danielle Legros Georges


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: 2020-07-08

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