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Eve's 2011 Haiti Spotlight Monologue - "Myriam Merlet"


01/12/2011

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Myriam Merlet, was an activist and an author. She was chief of staff for the Ministry for Gender and the Rights of Women of Haiti, founded Enfofamn, which collects and promotes women's stories, fighting for women's rights through the media. She was extraordinary and beloved and brought V-Day and "The Vagina Monologues" to Haiti. She died in the earthquake.

MYRIAM

Myriam,
Almost a year has passed
since 2010 cracked open at its spine.
A year since I began calling you
calling and calling,
believing the ring
would find you and wake you,
your cell gripped in your buried hand.

A year since
those days of exploding
living rooms and limbs
a blizzard of cement and bone.

Those days of body bags
And not enough body bags
Of silent babies wandering the remains
And mad digging
and sometimes screams, cheers, prayers.

Those days right after
Haiti collapsed
like a house of cards.
You who had been holding it up
Now, suddenly under it.

Myriam,
There are women
in the streets, in cars
In camps, in ragged patchwork tents
Women hardly clothed
Grabbed by hungry, angry men
Filled with babies not their own
There are women who
in order to work
must leave
their daughters,
women with blood on their legs
terrified to take a bath.
There are women waiting to sleep
Waiting for doors and roofs and walls
and
there are women refusing to wait
women calling up your memory
your name.

You worked so hard to change all this
like the biblical prophetess
returned to your land
tambourine in hand
to sing the stories of your women.
You knew the future of Haiti depended on it.

You and Magalie and Ann Marie and all the others
Who broke down the gates
Who changed the street names, packed the courtrooms, made new laws.
Your bodies may be lying
Amidst the steel and dust
But you did not perish there
We are not giving up
We are singing your song
Emboldened by your name
Myriam Myriam Myriam

Eve Ensler
January 2011

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IN HONOR: Myriam Merlet >