Wednesday, November 08, 2006


[a poem submitted in connection with the Trinidad Caribs' Santa Rosa Festival. Written by an anonymous Trinidadian author, submitted for use only on this site. Reproduction is not currently permitted.]

Cloaked as she stands
In the stony habit of subjugation,
Saint or cultural shape shifter,
She waits only for the child.

This heart is neither meek nor mild
And that frozen mask of piety
Barely conceals the roucoued face
That stains her robes to flagrant pink.

Such are the small victories,
The toeholds that we must employ
To scale the brazen and impassive face
of ongoing ethnocide.

While roughshod over us they still ride
This infant, this ark of our kind
We will protect and hide
This same child who believed in us
Long after we had been converted
To disbelieving ourselves.

So into this hushed sanctum we will glide
Year after year,
To lift our blazing bouquets against the gloom.
Even under the patronizing smiles
we will slide,
to bring to our bride her infant groom,
To place the baby in her waiting arms.

Rosa lets them sing their psalms
But when the child rests smiling against her breast
The only song to give him rest
Will be her Carib lullaby.

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