Shadow Man, Jamaica.
Shadow Man, Jamaica Soaping clothes in a rainforest pool she hears a voice cry, "You won't go back to your everyday life the same person." A church group from Duluth begins climbing the famous waterfall. Holding hands, a daisy chain, they edge along the switchback ledges, foam cuffing their ankles. After soloing "Come Mr. Tally Man, tally me ba-nah-nah" the guide pauses and the climbers repeat it, then the phrases that follow, like a choral oath of office. Smoothing her children's shirts and pants, colorful as reef dwellers, to dry over boulders she thinks of her husband's clothing. "Where things start is not where is going end," he told her one early morning last week when he came home from Tweedy Flamboyan's Rum Shop and tore up his work clothes. He twisted her ear and shouted, "You listening now? No more I wear a shirt say Public Works, no more opening graves and repairing politicians' tombs the sea wind have better use for the waterfall is quiet now. Jitneys have taken the climbers down macadam to vendors awaiting them. A voice drifts up, "Doan miss I have place mats fashion from bark of satinwood, our nation tree. It look so you want them, true? The artist scene it say right here, Wash Day, West Indies." She watched her husband mix a dove's dried blood with rainforest seeds and sprinkle that on burning charcoal. He breathed deeply over the altar, chanting, eyes closed for second sight. Dressed all in white, he tells whoever will listen at Tweedy Flamboyan's how he'll conjure for clients a charm against obeahmen who can steal your shadow for vengeance and replace it with the shadow of a dying person. The shy Antillean warbler, its blue-black sheen and orange throat--she whistles its territorial call she has practiced every wash day and smiles to hear an answer upstream. This morning she thought, but didn't say, that the shadow her husband cast was not his.