The Caribbean Writer

for the gentleman of the waterfront (feby, 13, 1993)

Velma Pollard


this time
I cannot think
but that I see
your hand
my friend
copper bangled
sculptured ring on left
pink(ie) finger
articulate beside the polished

you raw-silk jacketed

Oh Cliff
you who so
hated pain
and violence
and death
of any kind

to so unkindly go

so finely tailored
gentleman of the waterfront

you would have hated most to go
so without style

details unhinge my mind
was there a ring
still anchored to the bone?
or did the snatchers take that too
and desecrating sell for less
than you could count
in one brief breath?

I see you curve your slender shoulders
bow your head
and not hold back tears
your life passing before your eyes
in one quick blink

I hope the blow was
brief and hard

not since they stoned the poet
Michael Cinna Smith to death
have I felt so outraged
enraged at how the tiger
lurking in our nature
is so here
so everywhere


Copyright © Velma Pollard

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