This morning, there was another so-called aftershock in Haiti. Any other time, it would be called a big earthquake. 6.1 is hardly an aftershock, but more of the main event. More buildings are down, the internet is out again, and it will be a while before we know what additional damage was done.

My sister and her kids are here in the US, and her husband is still at Quisqueya, helping run a field hospital and orphanage. The kids are in school, and generous friends and strangers have provided everything for them, from clothes to a place to sit at the lunchroom tables with friendly faces. Meanwhile, their dad, and many of their friends, are still in danger, and far away.

I’m feeling very sad this morning – sad for my sister and her scattered family, sad for the enormity of suffering of a people who have known little else, sad for the children who are wounded and hungry and frightened and lonely this morning in Haiti.

I wrote this poem over the last few days, after watching Ruth’s kids and my kids playing, as though everything was no different from last summer. Right after I got done with it this morning, I found out about the new quake.

If you’ve been thinking about giving something to help folks in Haiti, but had let it slide by because it’s not in the headlines any more, please consider giving to the Red Cross, or Doctors Without Borders, as they continue to alleviate the suffering of people who are utterly without resources.

Earthquake Evacuees

January 20, 2010

The boys are comparing loose teeth
The girls are somewhere
talking American Girls and shoes.

This week, they get to worry about
small things, like why
white people are driving the buses,
and why the electricity is on
all day every day,
and why nobody has walls around their houses

instead of when the ground will shake again
and why they have to sleep outside
and why so many people are laying so quietly
in front of their Escheresque homes.