Her ankle tag reads Ange-Louise, 2 ans.
Were it not for the diaper in her frock
she’d slip. She sleeps in the crook of my arm
that has fallen asleep. Her sweat beads grow.
She’d be one of the ones on the world news
had she not hung her eyes and raised her arms
for nothing more than a pick me up.
Were it not for her heat and her heartbeat
against mine, she might not be there at all.
There are no words. Outside, a waiting truck.
I hope she won’t wake when I put her back.
— L’Orphelinat Mère Térésa, Port-au-Prince
Aidan Rooney is an Irish native, resident in the US since 1987; he teaches at Thayer Academy and lives in Hingham, Massachusetts. Aidan’s collections of poetry — Day Release (2000) and Tightrope (2007) — are published by The Gallery Press in Ireland.
The two poems featured here are from a portfolio of poems written in response to Aidan’s involvement, since the 2010 earthquake, in Haiti. In 2013, the poet F.D. Reeve selected Angel for the Daniel Varoujan Prize (from the New England Poetry Club), awarded annually for a poem worthy of Daniel Varoujan, a poet killed in the Armenian genocide.