When God was dispensing rivers
were my tiny island-homes not yet born?
Were they late in arriving?
Were they still buried
in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean?
Were they just tiny appendages
of a continent waiting to be shaken off
after a rattling quake?
Deprived of rivers and lakes,
tiny islands were handed ponds,
creeks, streams and gullies and
posted on peaks of volcanoes
jutting out of the ocean.
Buffered by the Atlantic Ocean
and the Caribbean Sea.
they are subjected to the whims
of storms racing from Africa.
Small islands are barely noticed
from distant planes,
and no large body of water
patterns their surfaces.
They thrive on the beauty
of small things.
Part l of the series entitled Going Past Rivers Version lll.
•••Althea Romeo-Mark is Antiguan by birth and culture, and a life-long immigrant. She grew up in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, but has lived in the USA, Liberia, the UK and, since 1991, Switzerland. She writes because she is compelled to. The stories of immigrants, their suffering and survival are a major inspiration. This is a dominant theme in her last collection, If Only the Dust Would Settle, 2009.