Follow That Flag!

Haitian FlagSeveral years ago when I moved to this hood, I thought I’d meet at least one Haitian. That didn’t happen for two years. Pawòl serye.

I’ll always remember the moment I spotted a bumper sticker depicting the Haitian flag, and shouting “Follow that car!” to my husband. He followed at a safe distance, ignoring my “Hurry! Hurry! Don’t let them get away!”

“What do you people want?” the driver had inquired—not very nicely.

“Well. . . Well,” I stammered. “I saw your Haitian Flag bumper sticker, and thought . . .You see, I am Haitian, and. . .”

The driver flew out of his car. Arms were wide open to embrace me. I guess he’d been hoping to find a Haitian in town too.  He turned out to be an American who’d spend time in Haiti. Unfortunately, the dude should have spent more time in the slammer than in my country, but that’s another story.

Fast forward several years. The number of Haitians I’ve met in the hood has increased to a grand total of…………….2. And I’m counting myself.  Thank goodness for the Internet.  And Interstate 95.  And airplanes. And day-dreams.  And BOOKS!

I’ve quit following cars with Haitian flag bumper stickers. BUT–and don’t you dare tell anyone this–each time I see the Haitian flag dangling from somebody’s rearview mirror, I step on the gas for a closer look. It’s that serious.

Happy Flag Day to my compatriots and lovers of Ayiti Cheri!



May Belongs to Haiti

Dream Haiti: Acrylic on Canvas by Jean Claude M.When rain falls like a song on the roof, and ocean breezes caress the curtains until sunrise, sleep is sweetest.

This morning, the bedroom window proffered an invitation to behold nature and take from Her all I required: rest, renewal, and inspiration galore. If it’s a happy heart you need, the rain said, I have one for you. Look at the flowering trees. See how their branches are heavy with promise. The rain-washed leaves shone like precious stones.

IMAG2583I awoke with the expectation that every seed I planted will germinate: corn, eggplant, tomato, onions. In two or three months, we will harvest enough fresh vegetables to feed several families. We will share with the neighbors, in accordance with our elders’ teaching: Those who never eat alone never go hungry.

I awoke with mist in my eyes too, knowing how the sky covering Haiti can be tightfisted and the clouds stingy. Sometimes rain stays away so long that farms become like the Sahara.

May 1st, Agriculture and Labor Day, is just the beginning of why this month is particularly portentous to Haiti and Haitians. Let the celebration of our rich culture begin.


Li Teks la an Kreyòl