CAHSS Faculty Articles

Title

The Whisper of Doctor Bird Wings: Poems

Department

Department of Literature and Modern Languages

Publication Date

2-2013

Publication Title

Sx Salon

ISSN

2372-3408

Volume

11

Abstract

A series of five poems.

Excerpts

Daybreak

Needles of coconut husk
shoot from the kaya mattress
through the well-worn sheets
to sting Reginald’s little-boy body
like thirsty mosquitoes
each time he wriggles in bed.

_____________________

The Journey

Crocus bags laden with banana and yam
rumble with excitement
as the truck heaves its way up Mount Diablo
past a giant Poinciana tree, blossoms on fire.

_____________________

Lunch

“Nice job, bwoy, that leg look good. Just need to sand down likkle more.”

Reginald turns and twists,
twists and turns the wood in his hands.
and imagines his father
smiling from his eyes.

_____________________

Harvest

Michigan’s crisp autumn turns Reginald’s skin to ash—
a cracked, dry replacement for the skin left at home,
hidden in the folds of a young banana shoot.

_____________________

Independence

1962, and the sweet aroma of independence is floating across Jamaica.
A national bird, a national flower, a flag.

In flight with doctor birds in a storm of lignum vitae petals,
people jam down Kingston streets
to the infant sounds of the Skatalites, Toots and the Maytals, and Bob,
wailing in the island’s womb.

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