12 January 2015

dessalines at vertières

our meanings come from choices handed down
by those who built the towers and raised the sky
the folk who farmed the fields and filled the town
who'd made the horrid trip and did not die
their long hope was back to lost home to fly
but all the horrors made their footsteps slow
while home was lost in the far eastern glow
they had their duties and their constant care
and all the many pains we cannot know
all changed with dessalines at vertières

so much depends upon a simple frown
a gesture or a winking of the eye
to  make disaster or to grant renown
turn all our wishes into one great lie
or  send us each to the last great good-bye
by means of one most massive mortal blow
that bursts the normal cheery human flow
and sends us hurtling to the upper air
until that moment all had seemed too slow
all changed with dessalines at vertières

the human is a move from verb to noun
a chance to prove that we can best rely
upon the one who could not play the clown
but was the stalwart soul who did not cry
under the lash but rather chose to fly
with the fresh dawn and the new morning glow
the day of history when all would know
just what we were and how much we would dare
to do when we came up from down below
all changed with dessalines at vertières

prince you have heard your men were far too slow
to face our wrath and take the angry blow
that meant our freedom in the open air
do not be angry for you could not know
the outcome would be more than a tableau

all changed with dessalines at vertières

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