Under the house,
our sanctuary against adult tyranny
is infested by shrouded ancestors.
They hover and flutter in dark corners,
and eavesdrop when the sun drags
its blanket over the island.
We flee before jumbies
make their wishes clear.
Fearing the sound of
their unearthly voices,
we do not wait to communicate.
•••Part VI of the Things that transpire under a House series.
•••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.