Go tell the Village

Go, tell the village it must not change,
it must not dream to alter the little pain espice
shops smelling of oil, rice, flour and kerosene,
waiting for a match so the old broken down fire cart
can parade down Main Street; for the volunteers
to proclaim half in English, half creole: “let it burn,
we got no water.” All the time surrounded by the sea.
A man name Progress spreads his seeds all over this place.

Go, tell the old woman she must sell
the one room wooden shack her mother left her,
or break it down to make room for glass and wall.
The banks are hungry for profit and will lend
any Jock with collateral, to build a mall.
The police will stop Marcelle selling by the street,
unless she can get a permit, saying sanitized wares –
it cost more than her sales for the whole blighted week.

Go, tell the village it must not change,
and stare the ghetto in the face. Who feeds
the hungry child craving for mother’s love?
Who mentors the little boy in the empty lot,
practicing with the rusty gun he find by the road?
This is the nonsense you start when you turn us into
curios and pay for plane loads of tourists to come
see how we looking good wrapped up in showcase.

Go, tell the village it must not change,
go, tell them while you on the prowl for votes,
go, tell them with chicken leg and beer why them
forty-seaters only passing through but never stop.
Go look them in the eyes, peeling through holes
in galvanize pailing; go canvass them.
Go, tell the village it must not change;
by the grace of god, I on the block waiting…

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