Remembering the Haiti earthquake, 10 Years Later

Margot de Greef | January 2, 2020

A girl stands in Port-au-Prince, Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Photo: Paul Jeffrey

*Warning: this poem contains graphic imagery.*

January 12, 2010
4:53 pm
Shaking, dust, screaming and then;
an earthquake killed thousands of children, women and men.

Corpses and limbs on the street.
Colorful school uniforms on children without a heartbeat.
Houses, schools and churches flat.
Under the stars or in a tent to bed.

So many and so much lost
such an ordeal
but also solidarity in sharing a meal
building back better a must.

Ten years on.
What has been done?
Beloved ones forever gone.
Many voices stilled.
But also houses, schools and churches rebuilt.

Rubble away
a sliver of sunray
shining a light of hope.
Learning how to cope.

Since then hurricanes passed
and the new houses still last.
Strong houses providing a safe place to be
with peace and dignity.

Written by Margot de Greef, CWS Haiti Country Representative.