Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Reginald Paul, R.I.P.

 Reginald Paul, R.I.P.

We live with the comforts of landmarks, police station, bookstore,
hardware emporium,  the church of Saint Pierre and the plaza in front,
banks, supermarkets, shoe sellers, a neighborhood, Petionville,
but everywhere we go thieves ride along with us. They scout

us on the street corners, sitting on scooters as we leave cash
machine, bank, supermarket with our fine French bread.  
The pastor said it was his time What does he know
of  the inscrutable will? Why does a 15-year old daughter,

and a beautiful companion, celebrated in Haiti, parents, siblings,
friends, students--all the ties that bound him to the city--why
must we wrap ourselves now in the desolate shroud , untimely
grief. He taught English like a native. He rode his scooter to pick

me up one day in Morne Calvaire to go to a party at a friend’s
home. He failed to warn me about the muffler and I singed
myself that afternoon. The mark remains on my ankle, his words
yesterday when he said he could be better but only the recovery

remained, his brilliant exposition on the value of learning English
in today’s multi-lingual Haiti, that conversation we shared
on the radio two years ago,  these gifts, these fragments
sealed in memory by his soothing baritone, Reginald Paul,

the ancestors are lucky to have you now to themselves,
and we will carry on here as best we can, not forgetting
your gifts, preparing too for the next inscrutable loss,
and —why not--the joy of new life in the morning.

                        Indran Amirthanayagam, c) June 27, 2018

Tuesday, June 26, 2018