The Rusty Toque | Issue 12 | Poetry | June 30, 2017
after Naomi Shihab Nye
On the rocky cliffs.
The rain slickens the hillside here,
the goats huddle together against the yellow
guardrail – a barrier between them and air
[only the sea chewing the coast] below.
Cars process past them,
and the leader leads,
the little ones nestle themselves
against the sides of the mothers.
The grey clouds circle like birds of prey
but nobody here ever worries about goats.
For Loretta Collins Klobah
“These small floating gods”
Because this water never returns
and I am waiting on the rolling waves still-
because it is all I ever do.
There are no preparations for a drowning,
for the ballet of bodies underwater,
for the slow moan of a hull
sliding into the black water. What a bloodless
death! I wished to know the ache of sight,
of land mocking the horizon,
of a body, suspended for a moment
in the brine, an unseen slipping, a history
swallowed by the slick waves.
RICHARD GEORGES' poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Prelude, Smartish Pace, The Puritan, WILDNESS, The Caribbean Writer, The Rusty Toque, Wasafiri, and elsewhere. He is the author of the collection Make Us All Islands (Shearsman, 2017). He lives and works in the British Virgin Islands.