decrepit souls now
cry the ghetto but sing: god.
tattered hearts alone
we pity. though we
have no right to judge, we scorn
we forget justice
this house disgusts me
my neighbour takes crack and beats
her screams wake me up
a renaissance man
quoting Shakespeare, The Mighty
Sparrow / mock scatting
veteran, mas in
my blood: picture King Ahab
the streets, ‘48
suffered one too many
disappointments not to hurt
Grand Mum, his children
tried to be too strong,
to run from missing father,
a renaissance man
who kept on dancing, even
after breaking his leg
I hope there are poems waiting for me at my father’s grave.
I’ve never seen his tombstone so I don’t know what epitaph is engraved on it, what inspiration is etched into the font used to write his name, sunrise, sunset.
All I remember is a mound of dirt swallowing a closed casket; my aunt pushing white roses into my hand saying, Look, put some flowers for your father;
and that evening months later when Ms. St. Cyr took me back to the cemetery after pan practice, and we drove around aimlessly until it was too dark for us to find him, too late for me to leave another bouquet or a message
because this was no All Saints or All Souls night with the neighbours to keep you company while you placed cheap, white tapers around your loved ones’ graves and sang hymns to praise the dead;
this was not long time when I was a child more concerned with making candle balls and scraping stiff wax from my fingers before bedtime than saying prayers for great-grandparents I knew only through stories;
this was not those afternoons on November 1st and 2nd when I anticipated with friends staying up late, being outside at midnight;
this was not November 3rd when I put those candle balls in my book-bag hoping mine was the largest;
this was definitely not my twenties when it had rum and rhythm section and the good Christians rested their floral arrangements early o’clock and hurried to light their candles before the limers invited souls to fete
because Mt. Lebanon Cemetery is a gated community; it doesn’t stay open all night for you to pay tribute, reminisce or dance.
Every grave has a mailing address, and I can’t remember where my father lives.