The President's New Suit: A Dream in Haiti

(To dream in Haiti is easy. 

When it is hot, which is almost always, when the electricity is down and there is no fan, when the air is still and the dust from the road hangs in the trees, which is often, when the busy world is on the other side of the iron window grill, the bed looks particularly inviting. 

It calls not to easy dormition, but to tossing and turning in sweat and those peculiar half-dream states that most resemble the description of life in the world of shadows, of time in Hades. Still, in the heat it calls.  

There one find dreams filled with apparitions of the undead - the ones who have no place to go because they left us before we were ready to let them go. They reappear, again and again, like ancient players in a drama where they are center stage and we are reduced to observers. Dreams in this regard are portents of the realities not seen, but known to be present. They are in that sense prophecy.

I have said that until we truly bury the dictator and his acolytes and his unholy entourage, they will not rest. Perhaps this dream affirms that tragic truth. Or, perhaps it is, after all, just a dream on a hot Haitian day.)

The President's New Suit - A Dream in Haiti

He came into the shop and said to the tailor,
"I need an new suit.
I have just been elected president
and need a dignified suit,
something that will show that I am
     serious about change, big change,
     that will make Haiti a better place,
something that will show that I am
    serious about the rule of law."

"I know just what you need," 
said the tailor. 
"But permit me, 
it is not only a suit you need,
but also a suitable tie,
a classic shirt,
substantial shoes,
and the right sort of hat -
in short the whole ensemble."

"You are exactly right," said the President-elect.
"A complete picture of the Man
to lead the Country."

To which the Tailor replied, 
"Let me work on it. You will not be disappointed."

So the President elect came by for several fittings,
and he and the Tailor had discussions 
about belts, handkerchiefs,
styles of cuff, lapel widths, and so forth.

Finally the suit was ready. 
The Tailor believed it perfect
for a serious President
for a serious time
with serious goals and visions
for the country.

And the accouterments were as carefully chosen:
just the right tie, shoes, belt, shirt,
and on the last day, 
just in time for the presentation 
of the new vision of presidential sartorial splendor, 
the hat - a dark black Homburg -

The Tailor dressed the President elect
in his new clothes, and placed the hat 
like a crown on the presidential head.

He turned him to face the mirror
so that the President elect could see himself
as others might.

Looking in the mirror he saw
the President for Life, 
Francois Duvalier,
return his gaze.

After a moment,
just a moment,
he said, almost in a whisper,


  1. Pefect.

    I wonder if those who have been protected by denial, by pretend, by images of Betty Crocker dancing in their heads, will get it.

    I did.

    Onward we go toward reality, it´s sometimes like a bad dream but not so bad...it just takes some getting used to...that is, if one is willing to see.

    WV: bulsi, perfecto

  2. Wow. If that is what comes from tossed turning and fitful sleep....


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