a sixteen-year-old girl

 (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)

(AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)

This girl, I can see her; I see her frail silhouette leaning against one of the columns of the Grand-Rue – the indelible image of solitude and distress.
By Haitian poet Rudoph Muller, a poem that trembles with human presence:

A 16-year-old girl
who’s standing
on the corner of Grand and Miracle Streets
at 11 in the evening
in a tired little dress

A 16-year-old girl
who’s standing like an i
under an arcade

She’s not waiting for a bus
She’s not waiting for anyone
It’s just that at her house
her hungry mother
is about to die

She’d rather be standing there
at 11 in the evening
in the cold
under the Grand Street
arcade.

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