At the university they gave me books
on the history of Barbados
but what they didn't tell me
was that all I had to do was head over
to the eastside and look into your eyes.
It was Sunday morning I saw you
and right away I knew I could spend the rest of my life
resting in the wrinkles around your mouth.
Circles etch their way around your neck
the way they would around a great tree
and if you were to tell me you saw that tree
when it was but a thought in the ground
I'd believe you
because you've got history all over your face
and I think you know it.
I think you like movin' about
droppin' little stories all 'round the island.
Maybe one day you'll tell your secrets,
like how you know where Lulu's baby's really at,
and what's behind that old shack round Grandville's.
You never could keep a secret when you were a girl
all somebody had to do was look at ya sideways
and there'd be that giggle and they'd know
Mandy's got herself a secret.
Time washes things clear off some people
just lookin' at um you can see they're blank
as if they just came into this world
but time stuck on you like varnish
sealing it all in
melting to fill in the cracks
like butter in pie crust.
You look pretty in your church clothes
but I hope you know it's silly really
like dressing up a Bible with leather and gold-leaf trim
when you know it can't compete
with what's inside.
Ember Ward is a recent graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, and aspires to be a professional photographer. Her poem, "Escalator Up," won an award from the San Francisco City Arts Commission and is permanently displayed on a bronze plaque on the San Francisco Embarcadero. You can reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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|Date:||Jun 22, 2001|
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