Deye Mon, Gen Mon

Today is day two of Ethical ELA’s September Open Write. Denise Kreb is inspiring us to write a poem using multiple languages. I decided to center my poem around my visit to Haiti in 2018 choosing the Haitian phrase “Dèyè mòn gen mòn.” Dèyè mòn gen mòn” is the most common saying in Haiti. It means behind the mountain there are mountains. Many translate this to mean behind this difficulty there will be more and life is always full of trials.

Dèyè Mòn, Gen Mòn

We climb a treacherous
path to visit the peoples
of Bellevue
promises of arriving
at the top
around every corner
Dèyè mòn gen mòn

Overcome with intense
tropical heat
we stumble over rises
past the cow paths
with a few peeks of views
and peaks ahead
Dèyè mòn gen mòn

The delighted children
greet us as we neared
a crack of the machetes
open the just picked
coconuts
providing refreshment
and relief
Dèyè mòn gen mòn

The elders arise
and translators explain
“we are tired and are sorry
we have not completed
the chapel you funded”
tears fall from the
leader’s eyes
Dèyè mòn gen mòn

We will overcome
our tiredness
and once again
carry block after
concrete block
up the mountain pass
to finish this
church
Dèyè mòn gen mòn

I sit in awe
tears welling up
These people of no means
yet determined
resolved
committed
to building a house
of worship
50 pounds at a time
Dèyè mòn gen mòn
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