May 7, 2010
By Zach Bayly BRONZE, Clayton, Missouri
Zach Bayly BRONZE, Clayton, Missouri
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Lush green plants,
Magnificent coasts,
Swallowed by
and disease.
Here in Haiti,
I'm choking.
I need to get out,
Get some air,
before it's too late.
Before I suffocate.
But I'm gonna break free.
I'm gonna get out.
And I'm gonna breathe again.
January 7, 2010

They took my little brother when I was seven.
I cried,
and screamed,
But mama just stood
And watched.
About a month ago,
I saw him carrying some food in town.
I ran over to him and told him I was his brother,
I told him how much I've missed him.
He looked at me,
I repeated myself.
He told me I was crazy,
And he ran away.
January 8, 2010

My forehead burns with malaria
I'm sweating but I feel
I lie on the ground,
doubled over.
January 9, 2010

The air feels good today.
So do I.
Mama sent me into town.
Into the bustling streets and oil fumes that burn my throat.
I bring with me the meager selection of fruit we have grown,
and hope.
Hope that business will be good,
Hope that me and mama will eat tonight.
But it is just hope,
And as reality envelopes,
It diminishes every ounce of it within me.
But I am strong,
And I still hope.
January 11, 2010

Sweat stings my eyes,
The sun burns my now-dark skin as I walk into town.
My stomach is empty,
But with a new batch of fruit to sell comes a new sense of hope.
Hurried people walk by,
As my blistered and bare feet get burned by the hot pavement.
My throat is dry
And thirsting.
Careless people bump into me,
causing pieces of fruit to fall,
causing my starvation to continue.
I try to sell my Mama's fruit,
But no one wants our
low-quality offerings.
As I walk farther into town,
My feet begin to turn scarred and raw,
As they stir up the
choking dust.
A large truck passes,
sending dirt into my eyes and mouth,
And shaking the ground.
After it passes,
the shaking does not stop.
It does not stop but it
and builds,
Until I am thrown to the ground.
Buildings collapse as if they were made out of straw,
And they trap people,
Under their remains.
The fruit that I have clutched so tightly,
breaks free of my grasp,
and I watch as my only hope of food,
Is mercilessly crushed by a falling building.
Before I could begin to cry,
The violent shaking caused my head to hit the pavement.
Sharp pain.
January 12, 2010

I'm gonna break free.
I'm gonna get out.
I'm gonna breathe again.
I'm gonna break free.
I'm gonna get out.
I'm gonna breathe again.

I did not awake to a blue sky,
or my mother’s soft face,
but to black,
burnt rubble.
I couldn't breathe,
the strong fumes suffocating me,
And a sharp, agonizing pain coming from my leg.
I was trapped for what seemed like weeks.
I did not fight,
or struggle to get free.
And when death's arm extended to me,
I did not refuse to grab it by the hand.
And it pulled my body,
from the rubble,
And into a blinding pool of light.
All I thought about was Mama,
And for the first time since my brother was taken,
Tears streamed down my cheeks.
January 13, 2010

I woke again in a white tent,
to the sound of scrambling men and women in white coats.
This was not the Afterlife Mama told me about.
I heard moans of people in pain,
People in agony.
I lifted my head to look around,
But everything was white,
I looked at my arms and saw cuts and bruises.
I looked at my legs and saw only one.
I lifted up the blanket,
And saw that my strong leg,
Was reduced to a stub, cut off just above my knee.
When the medicine wore off,
there was stinging pain in my leg,
but when I saw that stub for my leg,
There was even more pain than before.
January 14, 2010

An American doctor,
Told me I was in a "hospital".
He tended to my leg,
And to my medicine.
He poked and prodded me,
And gave me food when I asked for it.
I stayed strong,
Just like Mama would've wanted.
But how can you stay strong,
when you thought you had nothing,
And now you have less?
January 15, 2010

The doctors gave me long wooden sticks,
That they placed under my armpits.
They taught me how to walk with them,
And I am getting used to them,
and more every day.
After some tests,
They told me I had to go,
So they could make room for more injured people.
So I took my "crutches",
And I walked out of the tent
And I went to the nearest camp of tents I saw.
with the other men and women,
the community that had also lost everything,
I felt welcomed.
And their sense of hope brought me a new found sense of hope too.
January 16, 2010

I move with the light of dawn,
steadily pacing myself along on the "crutches".
I look around at the city,
that tumbled to the ground,
yet I have risen above it.
Those buildings may not have been well built,
But I remain sturdy and strong.
Someday I'm gonna break through to someone,
Or someone's gonna break through to me.
My names gonna be on billboards,
Hollywood movies.
I'm not gonna be just some face in the crowd,
but someone.
This leg may cripple me physically,
but it can't stop me now.
Here I go anyways.
Here I go.
I'm breaking free.
I'm growing wings.
I'm flying and soaring.
And I'm breathing again.

The author's comments:
The news stories about the earthquake in Haiti inspired me to write this. Please donate money to the American Red Cross to help this cause. Thank You.

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