© Kristine Simelda
Mama Glo sings a ballad to the blue sea.
Black stones the size of clenched fists rattle in white foam.
Golden sand settles in the footprints of a troubled past,
But cannot erase the bleak forecast of what’s to come.
Wizened seabirds set themselves on cruise control.
Dolphins come in close and hug the shore.
And the ancient rock that guards the entrance to the bay
Broods like a worried grandmother.
Take heed, my friends; the weather is getting tight.
Temptation stalks the horizon. Big ships filled with wolves bring
Trinkets of drugs, plastic, and poisonous food
That conspire to hold folks captive in a second-hand land
World news colors an authentic island view; a curtain
Drawn from archives of sweat and sorrow and pain.
Flurries of kapok blown from the mountain are trivial
Compared to the icy blast that hitchhikes on warm tropical air.
You shuffle like mindless zombies doomed to submission.
And forfeit the dream the Maroons held skintight
To new masters who disrespect culture and sovereignty.
Yet you want, you need, you crave what they have,
But at what price?
Until the exquisite smell of fresh fruit and fish
Is bludgeoned to death by the stench of KFC?
And the prospect of a coconut sancoche is drowned
In a river of dented boxes of macaroni and cheese?
You were lost, then found, now lost again.
How much of your legacy are you willing to prostitute
In search of a sugarcoated daddy to betray you as before?
What other prince would dare rescue you from yourselves?
Ripe mangoes slam down on the roof in thunderous reply.
They splatter like manna sent from a generous heaven.
And the sweetness that runs down chins, arms, and legs,
Reminds Caribbean people to stick together
Like super glue.