Black History Month plays a significant role in the lives of many African Americans and Afro Caribbean people throughout the world. One aspect of our history is poetry. Poetry has always been a way to express feelings of joy, sorrow, outrage, humor and hope (Retrieved from Chiff.com, 2018). The poetry of the black community in America is no exception. Whether the verses were put down to accompany music or as stand-alone literature, there is a power captured in the words that can send your heart soaring or bring tears to your eyes (Retrieved from Chiff.com, 2018). Some of the more prolific African American poetess includes Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Alexander and Julia Fields . The Virgin Islands has its own poets that have permeated our community with poems relative to our culture and the history. Some of these poets includes Richard Schrader, Marvin E. Williams, Amy McKay, Katherine Lukey and Patricia Fagan. For this month we will feature several poems from our local poetess.
The first featured poetess is Amy McKay who was born and raised on St. Croix. She attended the Country Day School and graduated from Bucknell University (Pennsylvania) in 1991 with a degree in biology. She is an active environmentalist (Caribbean Writer, 2004).
A hummingbird hovers by the window,
Stabbing a nearby flower.
On the patio, a sugar bird sits
On the rim of my coffee cup,
Hoping to find traces of leftover sweetness.
And I sit on the fringes of this Sunday
Morning, searching for the sugary syrup which makes up my days.
At the beach, I watch children chase
A ghost crab along the shore.
He is no match for the pack of busy arms and legs that swoop down on him.
He’s tossed in to a scratched plastic pail,
The kind I used as a child
To make castles in the sand.
The children gather around to stare.
They challenge each other to touch.
I watch as they hop around to stare, screeching at each other.
In the evening, sun-baked and exhausted from surf and sand,
I fall asleep while reading and wake much later.
I crawl into bed,
The sugar bird perched on my coffee cup, and the ghost crab trapped in the plastic pail.
Caribbean Writer Seasoning for the Mortar