The Caribbean Writer

Christmas in October

Marvin E. Williams



Christmas 1982
Sears shipped toy soldiers through
the embargo. G.I. Joe, he
a colonial Adam, named himself
as he deployed troops
among the banana and nutmeg
plants in his yard.

Like me before the dawn,
he commandeered
howitzers that splattered Nazis
along Normandy’s canvas;
he gutted “gooks” in jungles
outside Da Nang. All wars were
spiced by history; all victories
sported a “Yank”
my twilight maneuvers chased.

Dashing up the beach masked
in fatigues, he scattered turtles
scouting for birth grounds;
soldier crabs adjusted their helmets
against his “pow pows”; in the mangroves
gutu crabs surrendered
their claws to his bamboo bayonet
thrusts; his “boom boom” and swift
flops in the fields woke up

In July he dreamed Christmas
would return to renew
toy soldiers and dead men.

I know, like me the black,
the Carib, you the white,
the Yank can recall
early boot camps that trained us
together, the myriad pledges
of allegiance


Copyright © Marvin E. Williams

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