Bloody Thursday

Papa Doc Duvalier Was Having a Bad Day

By: - May 14, 2015


Bloody Thursday

I trek this trail


It isn’t a happy one

Taking me back when

My heart was heavier

My thoughts less complicated

I was an endangered prey

Cast in the crucible

Of political depression and

Like everyone else

I trudged through this grim tale

Of guns blazing

To partake of the mysteries

That have forever characterized

The city of my birth

Bloody Thursday

Was the moniker used in Port au Prince

As the tale was to be told

My daily walk to school

Was interrupted by an Armageddon of sort

“Get off the street and take shelter”

A voice whispered … I listened

But had no time to comply

Draconian fangs glistening with venom

Were already piercing flesh

Armored trucks roared and charged

Sirens wailed and gun shots

Fired at will at fleeing targets

Gimme shelter!

I cowered into my own private rabbit hole

All alone and Freaked out

For good reasons

Papa Doc Duvalier was having a bad day

A gang of rebels that couldn’t shoot straight

Failed to hit their mark

The Duvalier dauphin—(Baby Doc)

A soft target by any measure

Didn’t die that day

How could they have missed?


The shit did hit the fan

That fateful day and I survived

As for others whose lives

Were taken randomly and unjustly

We’ll never be able to avenge them

Or bring their killers to justice

Now they’re festering carcasses

Interred deep in our unconscious

It begged to lament

O Country my Country

What have we wrought?

The first black Republic

Too often on the brink

Of national chaos

Always in danger of being pilloried

In a racist way

By a smug First World …

So then—what evil have we sowed

To reap such malediction?

O no! My native land

Do not be compelled

To forsake our collective memories

Your bloody and victorious past is ours

To remember—lest we forget

Absence of memory is death

To remember is to resurrect

Awake! Black Lazarus

Come forth

All of Humanity commends it

Do I now feel relieved?