Sunday, 8 May 2022


by Lorri Ventura

His machete bobs lazily against his hip
As the old man shuffles up the mission house driveway
Hugging the armful of ungainly sticks he extends
As an offering to the woman who squats on the ground
By the fire
Dreamily stirring a pot brimming with rice and crushed peanuts
Drenched in tabasco sauce

The man’s dusty pants are held up by a belt
Made from yellowed banana leaves
On his feet he wears tire treads duct-taped to mismatched socks
He bows as he accepts a bowl of food
In exchange for the spindly firewood

We offer him a bedroll, a steaming mug of Re-Bo coffee
And a place to sit
But he just smiles and shakes his head
Tapping the raggedy pillowcase slung over his shoulder
It holds all of his possessions

He waves an arm toward the sky
Telling us that he has everything
He needs in the world
Before he bows and takes his leave

Predictable as ocean tide
The gentleman’s silent appearance every day
As dinner is being served
Makes us smile
And wish that we could give him more

Deep down, though, we know
That already he has what makes him happy
Because he chooses to be happy
With what he has

* * * * *

Lorri Ventura is a retired special education administrator living in Massachusetts. She is new to poetry-writing. Her poems have been featured in several anthologies, in Red Eft Journal, and in Quabbin Quills.


  1. Beautiful Lorri! Your poem reflects the inner peace many of our Haitian students parents exhibited even after experiencing such trauma.

  2. As always you so capture the moment and man’s heart. Kathy