BVIPale as ghosts, we glide along the lane to see the Governor, passing knots
Of naked children, herds of goats which block the road, and groups of skinny
Men who wait to climb aboard whatever sort of vehicle comes by tonight
To ferry them to paid employment, chopping cane or washing dishes,
Staring out beyond the battered towns, beyond the road, to watch the ocean
Beckon with its waves. It smiles and it lies. One cannot wrest a living from
Its waters. In fact, one is lucky if one can sustain his life, and feed his wife,
And any children on what he's paid off the books, and what the Governor
And all his suited minions let him have. All eyes blur with sorrow as
They watch the packets push away, bearing lucky visa holders toward
The north, the land of snow and ghosts, perhaps prosperity. They stare.
We pass, pretending to be blind. We'll see the Governor, and, in his
Air-conditioned palace, we'll drink gin and tonics, as they did Burma.
We will be among the chosen few whose whiteness lets us roam
A lovely world, even as those dusky men attack each other as they
Seek a place upon a vehicle which will not free them from their
Bondage. At best, all that it will do is help them to survive.
Poetry by Lawrence Beck
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Written on 2018-06-29 at 03:17
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