The Caribbean Writer

The Returns

Marvin E. Williams


Each visitor returning from home
laments through cane rum swigs:
Few I remember live there anymore;
we live scattered in huddles
across the states, and the island’s
landscape pursues us here.
Rebels who would rescue
the soil from our tillers,
farm and commune alone
in our receding rainforests.

Home has no memory of its prodigals.

But where am I to turn,
unhinged in Ithaca,
impermeable to the native
passions which naturalize?
What am I to write,
I who ignore this life I borrow,
wringing dry my tongue
for words to transform island
from memory into squirming organism?
Am I in love with Santa Cruz
or, in my quest for revenge, demanding
the returns on prodigal youth?

Colonials must find out.

Yet I wonder:
after my returns from
the balding forests, after
I decompose into my father’s pose,
renew his feet’s affair with the dogs,
how long will it be before I get home
to profitable grave?


Copyright © Marvin E. Williams

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