The woman pushing the shopping cart
with a crumpled plastic white bag inside,
like a discarded embryo or an ear,
could have been my Bermudian maid.
Who, when strolling me in my pram,
muttered, “Ugly dark woman!”
as we passed a Jamaican on the road.
How could I know of such differences,
except in voice rhythms in the air;
the deeply quiet Bermudian tone,
and the melodic sing song West Indian?
Like the waves formed their dialect,
and ours, smooth as a rock, was worn down
from the lapping tide. Bermuda had
to stay solid, steady, so alone,
almost seven hundred miles out at sea.
I lay in a Liberty of London dress,
a smocked garden of English flowers,
shook a silver rattler, back and forth,
back and forth, joined in with a petite maraca.
Published in Edinburgh Review (UK)