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by April 'AP' Smith
Decatur, Georgia

You be Caribbean;
You be French, Indian, and West African: Creole;
You be rich;
You be gold;
You be indigo, coffee bean, and sugar cane; you be sweet,
Exploited: nigger, slave, coon, chattel;
(But) you be King and Queen, the dream
Before Martin through your own coup d’états;
You be rebellious, revolution, Napoleon defeating,
Gifted; you be Toussaint,
Courageous, Jean-Jacque;
You be 1804: Freedom, Saint Domingue reversed:
You be Ayiti, rooted like Arawak;
You be rock;
You be mountain;
You be strong;
You be back-bone against 32 counts of civil unrest,
Resilient in danger zones;
You be blessed;
You be death
by the hand of US Marines,
30,000 in the “knapsacks” of the Tonton Macoute regimes;
You be protest; uproar and war;
You be Yele, YELL-ING so loud
You be exiled: you be Jean-Bertrand Aristide;
You be priest against French inequalities,
Operation Uphold Democracy,
Sanctioned, cut-off, and sucked dry;
You be bankrupt with no allies,
Butt-naked, bare: in the nude for charcoal and fuel;
You be mudslides, tropical storms, rubble & debris;
You be natural,
Disaster times fifteen;
You be Flora, Gordon, George, and Jeanne; You be hurricanes,
Tsunamis, & earthquakes; you be after shakes,
Cracked, fractured, splintered, buried, battered & bruised,

But you…,

You never break;
You be remarkable,
Amazing, gritty, and brave;
You be diamond in the rough,
tough, unrelenting,
Courage made of blood, sweat, and tears;
You be soul and blues, smooth and cool,
made of pearl: La Perle des Antilles,
Precious gem,
Ancient and young:
206 years and still number 1;
You be independent
black nation,
Wise & steadfast;
be Ayiti,
rooted like Arawak;
You be rock;
You be mountain;
You be strong;
You be strong;
You be strong;
You be strong;
You be strong,
back-bone against 32 counts of civil unrest,
Resilient in danger zones;
You be blessed;


This poem won 2nd Place in the Poems of Solidarity for Haiti Contest.

About the Poet:

April S., also known as A.p~, is a poet and performing artist from Decatur, Georgia. Although she has been speaking for over eight years, she still considers herself a baby in the poetry world. Nevertheless, she has presented her work both locally and nationally in venues that range from small coffee shops to colleges and/or universities and theaters. She is an affiliate of Rock Star Poets on Tour, the only poet with Atlanta based business, Anonymous Entertainment (a company that features musicians, singers, and d.j.s for a once a year event dubbed, "The Beautiful Life"), and author of "From Radical to Natural." April’s recent accomplishments include Art Fusion 40 Poetry Slam champion, representing Atlanta as a member of the 2008 Art Amok Slam Team in Madison, Wisconsin and publications in The Eclectic and Creative License magazines. Currently, April is focusing more on publishing and perfecting her craft both in the written and oral form through a series of writing workshops.

April has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in journalism from Georgia State University and copy edits a variety of written works from novels and books of poetry to essays and scientific articles. For more information and bookings: or

Please see:

Published in In Motion Magazine May 19, 2010

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