Tanya's Writing


Poet's Choice Anthology

Global warming

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Kenbe La – Hold On

In the palm of my hand, 

three seashells 

gathered innocently long ago...

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Kenbe La – Hold On

Kenbe La – Hold On

In the palm of my hand, 

three seashells

gathered innocently long ago,

their opalescent pink hollows

recalling the outrageous fluorescents of the
now-vanishing coral reefs.

I wish I could give them back, 

breathe life into them

and the ancient underwater animals that once 
sheltered within their spirals.

“Kenbe la,” I whisper to them.

An invocation offered in the sanctuary of my attic, 
amidst wilted, cardboard boxes

as I clean house while locked in my safe space.

A call to the ocean and its kin.

A Creole phrase I learned in Haiti,

“Hold on.”

Haiti, where families cut down their last mango tree 

for wood to pay their children’s school fees.
Where the rumble of thunder

awakens the traumatized 

from earthquake nightmares.

Haiti, whose tin roofs fly away like gum wrappers 
in the yearly hurricanes.

Where the ocean releases its wrath on humanity.

Sequestered in quarantine,

time fertilizes my awareness,

affording the luxury of compassion

as I empty the boxes of my past.

The proof of my deeds.

How selfish, these three skeletons

taken from the once invincible ocean. 

I would rather hold Haiti in the palm of my hand, 
carrying her with outstretched arm above my head 

as I swim for a distant safe shore.

Leaving our salty mother 

to heal in peace.