barbados

waves wail
on volcanic rock
like grieving mothers
in soft turquoise robes
hurling themselves
against the hard soldiers
who have just killed
their only sons

one upon the other
flailing at the feet
of the molten savagery
that belched upwards
to become this land
all crisscrossed scarred
and ravaged by revenge

later
I went swimming and saw
that right beneath the surface
the rock was all hollowed out

eons of restless tides
enough I guess
to erode it away

and I saw
how time holds
secrets in itself

and wondered if
the very longness of grief
might yet wear away
our hardest habit to kill

have to say though
the next day when I slipped
and tripped against it

the rock was very unforgiving
and didn’t much seem to notice
how easily it tore my skin open

2003