Wed | Jul 17, 2019

POETRY

Published:Sunday | August 22, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Willow trees

As I look through the mirror at the trees outside

I feel the pain rising

The outrage

That I cannot put my chair among thesefine trees

Chopped down

Nor experience their strength andsurvivor instincts

Their gentle and fierce caress

Their sense of timelessness

Withinmy own confusion and helplessness.

As I look through the mirror at the trees outside

I feel the pain rising

That I cannot put my chair in-between the willows

To sit and do nothing

Sometimes sit with a book and read

Or listen to the birds

As children and people go by

Taxis passplaying Vybz Kartel

And my hands cover my ears.

As I look through the mirror at the trees outside

I know my neighbours would delight

In chopping down and burning

Every last limb and trace of tree

That they say blocks their cable

That they say creates a security risk

That they think is aesthetically displeasing

As "only well groomed shrubs should be grown in homes

And on sidewalks"

As they think, "death to all trees!"

As I look in the mirror at the trees outside and try to read

There is a chorus of rushing feet

Shouting voices

Hide and seek

Imaginary games

Footballs and tennis balls

Crashing through

As my neighbour's children

Play in ecstasy

Among my willow trees.

I lie in my room

Watching the branches wave and think,

A day will come

When I will have a forest of willows

A lake

An estate

No fear of my willows for the grave

And to hell with my neighbours!

- Abiona Pape

My mother kept her thoughts to herself

My mother kept her thoughts to herself

As she cooked sweet curried chicken

Fried bacon and eggs

Let loose her beautiful smile

Or hid behind her glasses

As she read The Gleaner

Readers Digest

Her Bible.

My mother kept her thoughts to herself

When my father died of a stroke.

Helpless, lying down in his bed

Staring up at the ceiling like a babe

My mother in terror beside him

Not knowing what to do.

Frightened that the man she came to Kingston with

He from Clarendon, she from St Ann

Would disappear from her life

Leaving her without her love.

The love of a vicious, jealous, determined man

Sent to make her life a living hell.

My mother kept her thoughts to herself

But I could see, hear and feel them

In the silence of her spirit

In her unseeing eyes

In her withholding

In the pain and terror inside her

That only she thought she knew.

- Abiona Pape