Drought / chike pilgrim

On this island,
men lie neglected
like dry apple cores,
twice irrelevant.

Those left with visions
are a huddle of palms,
spreading frond to frond
over cracked brown earth,
where shrubs wither and die.

De nada,
the rains will come again.
Till then hide the children from cold polite eyes.
Maria, hide the children
inmediatamente en el pequeño pozo de agua.
Hand over our papers to be searched,
do not dance until we cross the border,
or until the rains come again.

I am old,
I will not see this end.
Teach my children to be trees.
¿Quién duerme por horas en el calor de la tarde?
The old ones whose arms
are no longer good for shading.
Water my lambs.


Chike Pilgrim is an MPhil candidate of History at the University of the West Indies.

One comment

  1. Reply

    my god. <–actual response for feeling this viscerally. and "cold polite eyes" did me in. i've seen those before, but couldn't give it a name or coin the correct phrase. yours was apt. appreciated!

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