The Caribbean Writer

Not Leaving

Delores McAnuff-Gauntlett


A time has come: the clock face pointing east
is ticking a different hour from the rest,
towering between uptown and down,
where its weightless shadow stalks the street:
time’s sword and hard times following the crowd.
This island now is a motor boat
backed out of the sea and left aground
in the deep dry sand of past miscarriages.
The vacant lighthouse staircase spirals down.
The waves roll in their anger from the deep,
wave after wave, like hope reaching to a brim,
or as if to save each other coming in.
The good mood inland is changing course,
the last bit of magic rising in debt
through the torn curtain of the social net.
Something fundamentally is new.
But the poor with their sufferings; what to do
but pray from one loud storm to the next,
while mothers grow old lamenting what
lies ahead, and how two worlds will meet.
Next to Law & Order, along the street
so dim with gloom the sun cannot dispel,
everything grows hoarse from the spread of sad,
shuffling news. The boat, glass-based,
bottom-up, shadows the dry sand,
the seaweed has withered in its shade;
but I not leaving here. This is my home:
two worlds bound to each other in one room,
one root feeding both

Copyright © Delores McAnuff-Gauntlett

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