I typically do not write rhyming poetry, but yesterday’s NaPoWriMo challenge was to write a one-stanza poem in the ottava rima form. The form has eight lines, with a rhyming pattern of abababcc, in iambic pentameter.
This poem is about the hopelessness of restavek, a system of child slavery that affects approximately 300,000 Haitian children.
Pov Timoun (Poor Child)
by Jan Brown
When I first came to live with them I wept
each night. Nightmares…time moved too slow.
I tried to sleep! Into my room he crept.
I couldn’t count the lashes or the blows.
I couldn’t count the promises not kept.
I lugged his books to school, but could not go.
They see me as a tool for joy or pain–
but never pov timoun, never again.
If you would like to find out more about restavek, and the efforts being made to abolish the system, I encourage you to watch Jean Robert Cadet’s short speech at the 2012 Oslo Freedom Forum, below, or visit the Restavek Freedom Foundation web site. You can also access my previous blog posts on the subject here.