A poem about where I go in Haiti -
Ile a Vache
On the galerie the baby calls out
with a sound like "allelulia"
his grandmother replies the same,
perched on a stiff Haitian chair
with a seat of twisted pandanus leaf.
The dog lies under her feet, inert.
A sloop eases by the point into the mangrove flats,
the sail a patchwork of denim, someone's red jacket, black tarpaulin on the ivory of the torn canvas.
Three silent men, a woman interminably shelling beans
round the side of the house,
muddy from last night's heavy rain -
all contented, the water-tower is full, it's Sunday,
there will be a picnic later.
Madame is peeling breadfruit - in Creole,
"The True Soul" of all fruit, 'lam veritab'.
It's Sunday, the fisher children need no clothes at all,
On the beach it is so bright
their dark skins vanish in the glare,
splashes of salt between the banana-leaves downhill.