Last night during NBC’s continuing coverage of events in Haiti, there was captured on the record an all-too-brief moment that needs to be shown over and over and over again; one of those heart-wrenching incidents that if we are extremely lucky we may see at first-hand but once in a lifetime.

A numbed Haitian man is sitting outside the ruins of his home. Apparently his wife’s voice was heard a few hours before but all is now silent. He is exhausted from digging with his bare hands and his face is a study in awful nothingness. He does not want to think. He wishes to be, not there, but in some other existence, one where his wife still is.

A Turkish team, experienced, we are told, in earthquake rescue and one that did sterling work in Japan, has just arrived on the scene. One of their number, an ordinary-looking bloke in rescue gear,  touches the Haitian on the shoulder.

“We are here, my brother,” he says,quietly and in English.

His humanity burned so brightly that I closed my eyes and sobbed like a child.

Frank Povah

Frank Povah

Arriving in the USA in late 2008, Frank Povah moved to Stamping Ground, Kentucky in mid 2009. Passionate about the written and spoken word and constantly bewildered by non-verbs and neo-nouns, Frank trained as a typesetter - though he has worked at many things - and later branched out into proofreading, writing and editing. For many years he has been copy editor, consultant and columnist with a prestigious Australian quarterly along with running his own editorial and typesetting business. His other interests are many and include traditional music, especially that of the south, folklore, natural history, and pigeons.

  1. Frank — I know those men and women you wrote about. Thank you for reminding us all that we are brothers and sisters.

  2. Sa je pa we, ka pa tounen”
    What the eye doesn’t see, doesn’t move the heart” -Haitian Proverb

    Maybe now, maybe now, the world will see…and care.

    Mesi anpil, Monsieur Frank Povah

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