The Caribbean Writer

December Tingles

Marvin E. Williams


December tingles the ticklish body of Frederiksted.
Rickety buildings grow more festive with Christmas
winds that blow in from ungodly hinterlands. Red
and green garlands dance on electrical wires
imitating birds that have fled the too bright town.
Jou’vert like the old regime will soon come down
the streets exhausted from its unkempt promises.
The revelers will lampoon to laugh at their faith:
The new year will retain their status crow.
In La Grange mercenary complexes continue to grow
from an orphaned soil that has accepted its fate:
Earth fecund without flowers or farmers. Of late
strangers become the most dependable crop
we reap from development. Every seed they drop
in this schizophrenic dirt matures into schizophrenia
or immigrates to a more lucrative disabling mania.
My three year old nephew already sighs “Me ain’t able”
with the worthless winds that wing to our table,
and we old farts laugh as we cringe, for we know
that his words are more ripe than his precocity,
that his nose defines decay as treat not tragedy;
we must with full rancor reap what we sow.
Yet we must leapfrog rancor’s bog that we too
might retrieve the unripened despair of my nephew.


Copyright © Marvin E. Williams

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