If you should stop where street lamps dance
On black water, in steps
Incongruous with the country blaring from the marketplace…
If you should see the zouk-dancing water meld
Into the the blackness of a hill above the water’s blackness—
The Morne’s blackness black, save for the pinpoints
Of light strewn across its silhouette…
You would feel
………………..a Friday night’s
And you would do it again Friday next week.
The sun would die on red water. And then blackness,
And the vague shapes of fishing boats tethered to unclear dreams.
Street lamps would slip connivingly into murky water,
Would dance to their own rhythm ignoring the crooning of Buck Owens
In the marketplace; would be deliberately oblivious
Of a woman who would leave her babies at home
Just up La Pansee there, oui—too near for anything to go wrong!
You would sit on a park bench over brooding water
Drumming numb fingers to the sounds the lamplight’s dancing to
—The cacophony of life rushing past
On the bay-rimming road behind you,
Knowing that just outside the curve of the harbour
The lights would turn again from amber to red to green;
The briefly slowing highway would rush headlong
Into the night, not stopping to dream
Where street lamps dance on black water.
•••George Goddard is a trade unionist. Educated in Saint Lucia, Venezuela, and Barbados, he has had a passion for language and poetry since childhood. He shared the M & C Fine Arts Award for Poetry with Mac Donald Dixon in 1988, and is compiling his first collection for publication. He has previously been published in tongues of the ocean.