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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Tim Gavin

Tim Gavin
What Life Could Be

You would never believe what life was like, almost,

During Aristide’s tenure. Land almost went

To whom it belonged, knocking the rich off balance,

Like the shock of a sucker punch. So what would it be like

To sit on your porch and look over a valley of mangos

And not worry about where your next egg or goat

Was coming from? You would sit and drink rum and Coke

Like the blancs who come from up north and Europe,

Smoking their cigarettes, playing cards, and writing

The great whatever novel. You could never believe

What life would be like if you were free to vote

Without worrying about an unmarked man

With a gas can and a tire approaching you

From an alley and asking if you voted for the Marxist

Who was redistributing land and blocking drug traffic.

You almost never would believe what life could be.
Tim Gavin is an Episcopal priest, serving as a school chaplain at The Episcopal Academy. He leads the school’s partnership with Haiti and is overseeing the construction of a school in the Central Plateau of Haiti. His poems have appeared in various journals, including Anglican Theological Review, Black Water, Review, Poet Lore, Wind, and Yarrow. He lives with his wife and 2 sons.


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