Aidan Rooney – Angel

Angel

 

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. 
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Aidan Rooney – Mal

Mal

 

Yslande brings her fingers to her temple,

taps twice, then presses the heels of her palms

into her cheeks as if about to scream;

 

Alfrena cracks a smile and claps her hands

to the nothing of a belly she balloons

as if she could be carrying a child;

 

Myriane rains her fingers from her neck

onto her chest and ends up on her hips

as if just getting the hang of Simon Says;

 

Christabelle has it in her lower back

the bones of her shoulders pushed up and out

as if her arms aren’t properly attached;

 

Rosebeline hangs her head, her right hand

on her left in her lap in the repose

of one about to receive communion:

 

mal, she says, and looks around, mal partout.

 

 

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.